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Effectiveness of
Freshman Seminars and
First-Year Programs on
Student Retention
Thesis Defense
PRESENTER: DEBRA JOHNSON
ADVISOR: DR. DAVID
ROBINSON
2012
Kaplan University
Davenport, Iowa
Statement of the Problem
 Retaining a student is fundamental to
the ability of an institution to carry
out its mission.
 A high attrition rate is a fiscal
problem for schools.
 Loss of tuition
 Loss of majors in some departments
Methodology
Research Question
“What are the correlation of freshman
seminars and first-year experiences on
student persistence and retention?”
Research Hypothesis
“Students who participate in freshman
seminars and first-year experiences tend to
persist to the sophomore year.”
Methodology
Participants
Sophomore Students
at
George Fox University
Sophomore Students
at
George Fox University
Methodology
Independent
Variables :
 Academic Advising
 Orientation
 Financial Aid
 Student
Involvement
Dependent
Variables
Student Retention
Persistence
Mediating Variables
 Age
 Gender
 Race/Ethnicity
 Attendance
Status
 Attendance
Status in Family
 Freshman
seminar
Instrumentation
Quantitative Online Survey
5-Point Likert Scale
 1= Strongly disagree
 2= Disagree
 3= Neither disagree nor agree
 4= Agree
 5= Strongly Agree
(Created within SurveyMonkey.com)
DATA ANALYSIS
Descriptive
Statistics
Inferential
Statistics
Spearman Rho (Rank
Order) Correlation
Pearson Moment (r)
One-tail test Significant
(p<0.01)
Hypothesis Testing
One Tail t Test
(p < 0.05)
95%Conficence
Interval
mean
mode
median
range
Standard deviation
DATA ANALYSIS AND
FINDINGS
Demographics
Gender/Age (N=137)
Missing (female 25) or
older
*Females 18-25 – 60.2%
Males 18-25 – 38.2%
Males 25 or older – 1.5%
Indicates more females
than males attending
college on a full-time
basis
*Indicates large
percentage of students
are traditional students
attending full-time.
39% of nontraditional
students are male
attending full-time
Race/Ethnicity (N=137)
Hispanic/Latinos 3.7%
American Indian/Alaskan
Natives 1.5%
*Black or African American
1.5%
Asian 11.1%
*White 82.2%
Demographics
Attendance (N=137)
Total Responses 130
*Full-time student
>Participated in first-
year seminar 89.2%
Full- time student >Did
not participate in first-
year seminar 10.8%
Part-time students (No
responses)
Attendance Status in
family (N=137)
Total Responses 130
First to attend college in
family -20.8%
*Not the first to attend
college in family 79.2%
Perception of Respondents
Quality of Advising
(N=100) 37 Nonrespondents
Mean – 4.06>4.29
Median – 4.00
Mode – 4.00
Std. Deviation – 0.83>0.94
Range – 4.00
Indicates the average student
was satisfied with the quality
of advising (Approximately
100% of students
responding); Also indicates a
normal distribution (Perfect
Bell Curve)
Advisor Interaction
(N=100) 37 Nonrespondents
Mean – 3.68>4.16
Median – 4.00
Mode – 4.00
Std. Deviation 0.91>0.92
Range - 4.00
Indicates the average student
was satisfied with
interacting with their
advisor. (Normal
distribution)
Perceptions of Respondents
Financial Aid
(N=100) 37 Nonrespondents
Mean – 3.10>4.17
Median – 3.00>4.00
Mode -4.00
Range -4.00
Std. Deviation – 4.00
Indicates a normal distribution;
the average student is taking
advantage of all financial aid
available to them.
Student Involvement
(N=100) 37 Nonrespondents
Mean 3.55>3.77
Median 4.00
Mode 4.00
Range 4.00
Std. Deviation 4.00
Indicates majority of students
are involved in activities on
campus. (Normal
distribution)
First-Year Experiences
Genesis (N=98) 39
Nonresponses
Mean 3.55>3.99
Median 4.004.00
Mode 4.00
Range 4.00
Std. Deviation 0.87>1.09
Indicates a normal distribution
and
First-Year Seminar (N=100)
37 Nonresponses
Mean 3.38>3.74
Median 4.00
Mode 4.00
Range 4.00
Std. Deviation 0.87>1.08
Bell Curve
Bell Curve
Correlations
Orientation/Genesis (p < 0.01)
Pearson Correlation
Perfect positive correlations of
(r=1.00) indicate there is a
direct association between
variables, shows a strong
linear relationship. and
suggests that Weaker
correlations (r= 0.40)
indicated students who did
not participate in an
orientation program.
Alpha levels (0.000) indicated
no difference.
Spearman Rank Order
Triangulation of Spearman
Rank Order with the
Pearson Correlation are
symmetrical and Also
shows a strong linear
relationship which
substantiates these results.
Results suggests that
orientation programs are
effective.
FIRST-YEAR SEMINAR (p < 0.01)
Pearson Correlation
Correlations (r=0.50) or
greater between variables
indicate a strong
relationship; correlations
(r=1.00) shows a perfect
positive relationship and a
direct linear relationship.
These are indicated by
students who participated
in a first-year seminar.
correlations (r=0.40) indicate
a weak correlation, and
also indicate students who
did not participate in a
first-year seminar.
Spearman Rank Order
Triangulation of Spearman
Rank Order with the Pearson
Correlation are symmetrical
and Also shows a strong
linear relationship which
substantiates these results.
Results suggests that first-
year seminars are
effective.
Hypothesis Testing
(p < 0.05)
One-Tail t Test
Genesis
One-Tail t Test First-
Year Seminar
One-Tail t Test
95% Probability Rule
Assumptions & Limitations
Recommendations
Future Implications
Conclusion

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Effectiveness of freshman seminars and first year programs on[1]

  • 1. Effectiveness of Freshman Seminars and First-Year Programs on Student Retention Thesis Defense PRESENTER: DEBRA JOHNSON ADVISOR: DR. DAVID ROBINSON 2012 Kaplan University Davenport, Iowa
  • 2. Statement of the Problem  Retaining a student is fundamental to the ability of an institution to carry out its mission.  A high attrition rate is a fiscal problem for schools.  Loss of tuition  Loss of majors in some departments
  • 3. Methodology Research Question “What are the correlation of freshman seminars and first-year experiences on student persistence and retention?” Research Hypothesis “Students who participate in freshman seminars and first-year experiences tend to persist to the sophomore year.”
  • 4. Methodology Participants Sophomore Students at George Fox University Sophomore Students at George Fox University
  • 5. Methodology Independent Variables :  Academic Advising  Orientation  Financial Aid  Student Involvement Dependent Variables Student Retention Persistence
  • 6. Mediating Variables  Age  Gender  Race/Ethnicity  Attendance Status  Attendance Status in Family  Freshman seminar
  • 7. Instrumentation Quantitative Online Survey 5-Point Likert Scale  1= Strongly disagree  2= Disagree  3= Neither disagree nor agree  4= Agree  5= Strongly Agree (Created within SurveyMonkey.com)
  • 8. DATA ANALYSIS Descriptive Statistics Inferential Statistics Spearman Rho (Rank Order) Correlation Pearson Moment (r) One-tail test Significant (p<0.01) Hypothesis Testing One Tail t Test (p < 0.05) 95%Conficence Interval mean mode median range Standard deviation
  • 10. Demographics Gender/Age (N=137) Missing (female 25) or older *Females 18-25 – 60.2% Males 18-25 – 38.2% Males 25 or older – 1.5% Indicates more females than males attending college on a full-time basis *Indicates large percentage of students are traditional students attending full-time. 39% of nontraditional students are male attending full-time Race/Ethnicity (N=137) Hispanic/Latinos 3.7% American Indian/Alaskan Natives 1.5% *Black or African American 1.5% Asian 11.1% *White 82.2%
  • 11. Demographics Attendance (N=137) Total Responses 130 *Full-time student >Participated in first- year seminar 89.2% Full- time student >Did not participate in first- year seminar 10.8% Part-time students (No responses) Attendance Status in family (N=137) Total Responses 130 First to attend college in family -20.8% *Not the first to attend college in family 79.2%
  • 12. Perception of Respondents Quality of Advising (N=100) 37 Nonrespondents Mean – 4.06>4.29 Median – 4.00 Mode – 4.00 Std. Deviation – 0.83>0.94 Range – 4.00 Indicates the average student was satisfied with the quality of advising (Approximately 100% of students responding); Also indicates a normal distribution (Perfect Bell Curve) Advisor Interaction (N=100) 37 Nonrespondents Mean – 3.68>4.16 Median – 4.00 Mode – 4.00 Std. Deviation 0.91>0.92 Range - 4.00 Indicates the average student was satisfied with interacting with their advisor. (Normal distribution)
  • 13. Perceptions of Respondents Financial Aid (N=100) 37 Nonrespondents Mean – 3.10>4.17 Median – 3.00>4.00 Mode -4.00 Range -4.00 Std. Deviation – 4.00 Indicates a normal distribution; the average student is taking advantage of all financial aid available to them. Student Involvement (N=100) 37 Nonrespondents Mean 3.55>3.77 Median 4.00 Mode 4.00 Range 4.00 Std. Deviation 4.00 Indicates majority of students are involved in activities on campus. (Normal distribution)
  • 14. First-Year Experiences Genesis (N=98) 39 Nonresponses Mean 3.55>3.99 Median 4.004.00 Mode 4.00 Range 4.00 Std. Deviation 0.87>1.09 Indicates a normal distribution and First-Year Seminar (N=100) 37 Nonresponses Mean 3.38>3.74 Median 4.00 Mode 4.00 Range 4.00 Std. Deviation 0.87>1.08
  • 17. Correlations Orientation/Genesis (p < 0.01) Pearson Correlation Perfect positive correlations of (r=1.00) indicate there is a direct association between variables, shows a strong linear relationship. and suggests that Weaker correlations (r= 0.40) indicated students who did not participate in an orientation program. Alpha levels (0.000) indicated no difference. Spearman Rank Order Triangulation of Spearman Rank Order with the Pearson Correlation are symmetrical and Also shows a strong linear relationship which substantiates these results. Results suggests that orientation programs are effective.
  • 18. FIRST-YEAR SEMINAR (p < 0.01) Pearson Correlation Correlations (r=0.50) or greater between variables indicate a strong relationship; correlations (r=1.00) shows a perfect positive relationship and a direct linear relationship. These are indicated by students who participated in a first-year seminar. correlations (r=0.40) indicate a weak correlation, and also indicate students who did not participate in a first-year seminar. Spearman Rank Order Triangulation of Spearman Rank Order with the Pearson Correlation are symmetrical and Also shows a strong linear relationship which substantiates these results. Results suggests that first- year seminars are effective.
  • 19. Hypothesis Testing (p < 0.05) One-Tail t Test Genesis One-Tail t Test First- Year Seminar