Assessing The Link Between Learning Assistance Programs and the Retention, Probation, and Grade Point Average of Freshman University Students
Ballmer, Noelle C.
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As the push towards lowering attrition of university students intensifies, particularly for first-time-in-college freshmen, administrators and campus leaders are increasingly designing and implementing co-curricular programs to support this population in order to positively impact student outcomes, namely, the grade point average, student retention rate, and academic probationary status. The purpose of the study was to determine the extent by which the Learning Assistance Programs (LAP) usage, in conjunction with gender, ethnicity, and admission status, predict GPA, retention, and probation. The correlational study took place in a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) of higher education in South Texas. The non-probability sample consisted of 2,925 first-time-in-college (FTIC) freshmen student. Existing data were used. Due to non-experimental nature of the study, no causal inferences were drawn. The study was conducted to answer three research questions: (1) To what extent do learning assistance programs, in conjunction with gender, ethnicity, and admission status, predict the retention of first-time-in-college freshman students?; (2) To what extent do learning assistance programs, in conjunction with gender, ethnicity, and admission status, predict the probation status of first-time-in-college freshman students?; and (3) To what extent do learning assistance programs, in conjunction with gender, ethnicity, and admission status, predict the GPA of first-time-in-college freshman students? The binary logistic regression (for retention and probation) and hierarchical multiple regression (for GPA) analyses showed that, after controlling for gender, ethnicity, and admission status, the use of LAP was useful in predicting retention, probation, and GPA among FTIC freshman students at a regional HSI university in South Texas. There were more females, non-Hispanics, standard admits, and LAP users who were retained than were males, Hispanics, alternative admits, and LAP non-users. There were more females, non-Hispanics, standard admits, and LAP users who were placed on probation than were the students in comparison groups. Females scored higher on GPA than did males. Non-Hispanics had higher GPAs than did Hispanics. Standard Admits had higher GPAs than did alternative admits. The students who had used the LAP had higher GPAs than did those who had not used the LAP. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
A dissertation Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of DOCTOR of PHILOSOPHY in CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in Corpus Christi, Texas.
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Ballmer, Noelle C.