Baby Please Don’t Go!What are your students telling you about their intention to persist? April 5, 2011 NCAIR- Boone, NC Karen Price Mary Heuser Sandra Nicks
BELMONT ABBEY COLLEGE
Established in 1876
Enrollment of 1,734 Students
(866 Traditional, 868 Adult)
BA & BS Degrees
Freshmen to Sophomore Retention 69%
6-Year Graduation Rate 33%
Persistence Rates (1st to 2nd Year) Among First-time First-year Students Matriculating between 1991 and 2009
Graduation Rates of First-time First-year Degree Seeking Students Matriculating in Fall, 1995 through 2006
Noel-Levitz Report on Undergraduate Recruitment Trends
Monetary Returns from Retention If BAC retains 20 more students this year
BAC Efforts to Increase Retention Strategic planning Admissions (finding students that are a “good-fit” for the college) Academic assistance Gathering information about attrition National Student Clearinghouse Student Tracker will tell us where students go BAC First-Year Student Survey will tell us which students plan to go
Attrition Rates (1st to 2nd Year) Among First-time First-year Students Matriculating Between 1991 and 2009
Retention/ Persistence LiteratureTwo “Camps” Cognitive Variables Non-Cognitive Variables Quantitative Typically measured by Standardized Tests (ACT, SAT) High School Grades Adjustment Motivation Student Involvement Perceptions Astin (1993, 2005); Tinto (1993); Sedlacek(2003, 2005)
EARLY WARNING SIGNS The Nexus between college choice, intention and persistence---Pre-matriculation attitudes may continue to influence persistence decisions
First Year Student Survey Annual survey examining satisfaction among first-time first-year students Added questions regarding college choice and student intentions Administered to traditional students enrolled in Freshman Symposium Distributed via online survey, with follow up to non-responders through campus mail and faculty encouragement 62% response (n=203)
Survey Questions: Student Intent Which best describes your plan for attending BAC: Complete a bachelor’s degree at BAC Attend BAC for one or two years, then transfer to another college I plan to return to BAC: Next semester? Next academic year? Through graduation?
Survey Questions: College Choice Of the colleges to which you applied, BAC was your: First choice Second choice Third or more Of the colleges to which you were accepted, BAC was your: First choice Second choice Third or more
Survey Questions: Student Success Since entering BAC, how successful have you felt at: understanding what your professors expect of you academically developing effective study skills adjusting to the academic demands of college managing your time effectively communicating with faculty developing close friendships with other students utilizing campus services available to students becoming involved with campus life
Research Questions & Data Analyses Conducted several Chi Square analyses Are there differences in the frequency of students who return/ non-return by intentions for attendance? Are there differences in the frequency of students who return/ non-return based on college choice status? Are there differences in students perceptions of being successful adjusting to college based on intentions for attendance?
Research Question 1: Are there differences in the frequency of students who return/ non-return by intentions for attendance? 2x2 Chi Square goodness of fit Enrollment after one semester (Return versus Non-Return) Plan for attending Belmont Abbey (Stay and Graduate versus Intend to Transfer) Χ2 = 8.4, p<.05 There were a greater than expected number of students who indicated that they intended to transfer who actually left BAC after one semester 20% of students who indicated they intend to transfer left after one semester as compared to only 5% of students who indicated they intended to stay Also, 44% of our students who had indicated BAC was a 3rd or lower choice school indicated that they intend to transfer…..NONE of those students returned after one semester!
Research Question 2:Are there differences in the frequency of students who return/ non-return based on college choice status? 3x2 Chi Square goodness of fit College Choice Status (1st choice, 2nd choice, 3rd or lower choice) Enrollment status after one semester (Return versus Non-Return) Χ2 = 10.16, p<.05 ---choice of applied Χ2 = 9.32, p<.05 ---choice of accepted
A greater than expected frequency of students for whom BAC was a 3rd or lower choice of college to attend failed to return after one semester.
30% of non-returning students had indicated BAC was a 3rd or lower choice for attendance
Research Question 3: Are there differences in students perceptions of being successful adjusting to college based on intentions for attendance? 3x2 Chi Square goodness of fit Level of Adjustment (Extremely Successful, Somewhat Successful, Unsuccessful) Intentions for Enrollment (Plan to Stay and Graduate versus Plan to Transfer) How successful have you been at becoming involved with campus life? Χ2= 24.78, p<.05 35% of student who indicated intent to transfer reported feeling unsuccessful as compared to only 11% of those who intend to stay. How successful have you been at developing close friendships? Χ2= 27.65, p<.05 15% of students who intend to transfer reported be unsuccessful as compared to only 4% of students who intend to stay Students who indicate that they intend to transfer are more likely to be report feeling unsuccessful integrating socially on campus
What Next? What do we do with the information? This year information sent to the Associate Academic Dean and the Retention Committee Director of Academic Resource Center contacting students who indicate they intend to leave
What Next? What do we do with the information? Going forward Survey earlier (before midterm, first semester) Determine reasons why students choose to attend BAC although not first or second choice (e.g., parents, SATs, academics) Assist students to become more engaged in the College Further research on the relationship of college choice and engagement (e.g., combine First-Year Student Survey with NSSE data)