High Risk Factors for Retention Freshman Year Experience

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Strategy team:. Dr. Conley WinebargerBill HarrisRhoda Bliese. What does the national data say about the risk factors for dropping out of college?. The U.S. Department of Education National Center for Educational Statistics lists seven risk factors.We will consider each of them.. Risk factor

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High Risk Factors for Retention Freshman Year Experience

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1. High Risk Factors for Retention Freshman Year Experience Review of the Literature Review of Preliminary Data

2. Strategy team: Dr. Conley Winebarger Bill Harris Rhoda Bliese

3. What does the national data say about the risk factors for dropping out of college? The U.S. Department of Education National Center for Educational Statistics lists seven risk factors. We will consider each of them.

4. Risk factor #1: Being an independent student Independent students receive little or no financial assistance from their parents Often, they have dependents themselves and are more likely to work full time.

5. Dependent students Dependent students receive the bulk of their financial support from their parents Across all income categories, dependent students fare better than independent students in persistence.

6. Why do dependent student persist? Dependent students usually have two support systems: Financial support from parents Emotional support from family

7. Risk factor #2: Students who work full time are at greater risk of dropping out of college. Regardless of income, students working full time were less likely to be retained.

8. Risk Factors #3 and #4: Having dependents, particularly being a single parent Nearly three out of four low-income independent students are supporting dependents

9. Risk factor #5: Delaying entrance to college after high school This often translates to a lowered “intent to get a degree.”

10. Risk Factor #6: Not having a traditional high school diploma They may have a GED, “modified” diploma, or no diploma at all. This usually translates into the student being underprepared for college.

11. Risk factor #7: Attending college part time

12. Literature on Income and Persistence Many studies indicated the strong connection between income and persistence. Students from the lowest income category were three times less likely to gain a Bachelor’s Degree than middle income students, and six times less likely to receive a Bachelor’s Degree than high income students.

13. Low income was strongly correlated with parental education and whether the student was a minority. As parental education increased, the percentage of low income decreased.

14. Low income students are less likely to persist to graduation than middle income students, even when other factors such as family background and GPA are controlled.

15. Financial Aid and Persistence All of the financial aid programs had a positive effect on persistence. Work study students have the greatest likelihood of within-year persistence However, students at the lowest level of income, receiving the greatest amount of financial aid, were still more likely to drop out. It is suggested that these students had a greater amount of unmet need than was covered by the financial aid.

16. Persistence in Two-Year Colleges For two-year colleges, the best predictor of persistence is an interaction between Whether the student is committed to the goal of attaining a degree, and High school GPA.

17. Putting the pieces together: Who is likely to drop out? Students who are not committed to the goal of a college degree Students with lower high school GPA’s Low income students, particularly those living independently and having dependents themselves Students who work full time Part-time students

18. Freshman Year Experience The most important fact to come from the literature on the Freshman Year Experience is that there must be a carefully coordinated, organized, integrated freshman program.

19. Start with Demographic Data Gather demographic data on characteristics of students who are at risk at MECC. Then, develop processes for identifying individual students at risk. Then, develop specific strategies for working with students who have been identified as being at risk.

20. Draw data and intervene at three times in the semester: First, do an admission’s survey prior to registration. The results of the survey should set in motion a series of steps designed to help at-risk students make a successful transition to college.

21. Second intervention point: After the last day for drop/add, identify students who have registered who are at greatest risk. Do intrusive advising or counseling with those students.

22. Third intervention point: At the end of the semester, identify students whose grades put them at risk for returning. Develop interventions to work with those students.

23. Freshman Orientation Class Another key factor in a coordinated Freshman Year Experience is a strong, semester-long, project-based Freshman Orientation class.

24. Key aspects of Freshman Orientation: It should offer opportunities for the students to work together and share ideas, discussing campus issues. It should give students access to several caring faculty, staff members, and sophomore student mentors--not just the class instructor. It should have a strong career development aspect.

25. Other key aspects of the Freshman Year Experience: Effective advising Instructional strategies for involving the students, such as Learning Communities Targeted learning support for classes that register a high number of freshmen students

26. Preliminary data on MECC students: Initial data was collected related to four factors: % of successful and unsuccessful students in these categories: Age Income Gender Level of Preparedness

27. Level of preparedness is defined as how far removed the developmental course is from a standard college-level math or English course in his/her program. In the following charts, “one below,” “two below,” or “three below” indicates the gap between the developmental placement and the required college-level course.

28. How did we define success? Successful students received grades of A, B, C, D, S, or R. Unsuccessful students received grades of F, U, or W.

29. MECC age data closely matches national data. Students who delay their entry into MECC tend to be less successful than students who enroll directly out of high school. This is particularly true in math.

30. There is less age effect in English.

31. MECC income data in developmental classes matches national data. Developmental students with lower incomes are less successful than students with higher incomes. The chart at left is a typical example. The effect is true for all developmental math and English courses.

32. There is little or no income effect if students test directly into college math or English. This is a key finding: If a student is well prepared for college, income has little effect. It is the poorly-prepared, low-income student who is at greatest risk.

33. Males tended to be more successful in higher level developmental math courses, such as Algebra I and II.

34. Females are more successful at the lowest levels in English and math.

35. If you would like more information on this presentation, please contact any of the strategy team members: Conley Winebarger Bill Harris Rhoda Bliese

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