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ERIC Number: ED515742
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 143
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1096-7563-4
Predictors of Student Persistence: Student Satisfaction and Aspects of the Residential Environment
Nayor, Gregory J.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Virginia
Research in higher education over the past several decades has extensively examined the extent to which various aspects of the college environment affect student persistence (Astin, 1962, 1993; Bean, 1980; Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005; Tinto, 1975, 1988, 1993). Furthermore, researchers have noted the importance of the residential living environment in creating opportunities for engagement and interaction that can ultimately lead to student persistence (Blimling, 1999; Boyer, 1987; Kinzie & Kuh, 2004; Kuh, 1995; Kuh, Kinzie, Schuh, & Whitt, 2005; Pascarella & Terenzini, 1994, 2005). Administrators have used this knowledge to create meaningful, thematic housing opportunities aimed at increasing student persistence by fostering engagement and higher rates of satisfaction (Low, 2000; Pike, Schroeder, & Berry, 1997; Schroeder, Minor, and Tarkow, 1999; Stern, 1971; Zheng, Saunders, Shelley, & Whalen, 2002). This study was designed to better understand the nature of student satisfaction and the extent to which satisfaction with various aspects of the residential environment affected student persistence for a residential environment. Data was taken from a sample of 168 first-year students at a small, private liberal arts college in central Virginia that completed the "ACUHO-I/EBI Resident Study" in the spring of 2006. Logistic regression analysis was used to examine which of seven models was the best predictor of student persistence. The following independent variables were examined: student background characteristics as defined by gender, ethnicity, and GPA; residential environment as determined by one of six (6) possible residences at the institution; and student satisfaction with peer interaction and community space, as defined by factors in the survey instrument. Interaction effects were also examined in order to determine if interaction among variables increased the predictive ability of the models. Results of the study indicated that while means and persistence levels varied slightly based on residential environment, these variations were not statistically significant. The models accounted for between 82.7% and 83.9% of the predictability of student persistence. The only variable that was shown to be a consistent significant predictor of student persistence in this study was GPA. These results, while examining one institution and sample, provide an understanding of the nature of student persistence. Implications for college and university administrators include the creation of more academic centered programs and living and learning environments that challenge and support students' academic growth. While other areas are important to student persistence, helping students achieve academically is paramount. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Virginia