The Impact of Program-Specific Orientation Courses On Student Retention and Academic Progress At A for-Profit, Postsecondary institution
Doctor of Education (Ed.D)
Higher Edu and Learning Technology
Date of Award
The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not a difference existed in student retention and academic performance levels between or among program-specific orientation courses and general-population orientation courses at a postsecondary proprietary institution. This study specifically examined student retention and academic performance data between 2009 and 2011 as kept by the Registrar's office of a proprietary institution located in north central Texas. Data were categorized based on student attendance in either a program-specific college orientation/freshman seminar course, or a general-population college orientation/freshman seminar course. Data were subcategorized based on retention and academic performance. A Mann-Whitney U test was used to identify academic performance across orientation types. A Chi-square test for association was used to identify variations in student persistence across orientation types. The results of the Chi-square test for association demonstrated that there was a statistically significant association between student persistence and type of freshman orientation seminar completed, ï¿½ = -0.43, p = .050. Based on the output of the Mann-Whitney U test, there was a statistically significant difference in GPA scores between general-population (Mdn = 2.20) and program-specific (Mdn = 2.50), U = 410,144, z = 3.254, p = .001. Based on the findings of this study, it is apparent that the use of a semester-long, program-specific orientation course at the proprietary institution being studied had a more positive impact on student retention than the general-population orientation course. These findings concur with the findings from prior research, which indicate that major program or career focused orientation courses - those that give students a clear understanding of the industry they have chosen to enter as well as a defined path to their intended career goals - have a positive impact on both student GPA scores and retention. To help increase student retention and GPA scores at 4-year degree granting institutions, the researcher recommends a focused review and implementation of extended-length, program-specific orientation seminars.
Lee "Rusty" Waller
Education | Educational Technology
Lipe, David Neal, "The Impact of Program-Specific Orientation Courses On Student Retention and Academic Progress At A for-Profit, Postsecondary institution" (2013). Electronic Theses & Dissertations. 73.