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ERIC Number: ED548670
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 130
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2673-3466-4
Predictors of Student Degree Attainment at a Four-Year, Mid-Sized, Public University in the Great Plains
Owen, Jody
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of South Dakota
College student degree attainment has been identified as a national issue, and recently has become a topic of emphasis for institutions of higher education. In the past, research has focused on retaining students from year one in college to year two. With the demand for baccalaureate-prepared graduates increasing and the charge to compete in a global society, there is a greater need for education researchers to explore factors that predict degree attainment. The purpose of this ex post facto study was to determine the six-year degree attainment rate for a selected four-year, public university and to identify academic factors, demographic factors, and curricular interventions that predict degree attainment at the target institution. Variables examined in the study include high school GPA, ACT composite score, ACT mathematics subscore, ACT reading subscore, courses complete by exam, first-semester college GPA, first-semester college credits completed, gender, ethnicity, housing location, major, date of admittance, participation in a first-year seminar, and participation in a student success course. The population for this study included all first-time, full-time, degree seeking students who first enrolled at the target institution during the fall 2005 semester. Data from 1,807 students were studied from fall 2005 through spring 2011. Descriptive statistics, including frequencies and percentages, and a stepwise discriminant function analysis were used to analyze data from the target population. The findings of the study revealed that the degree attainment rate for the target population was 57.7%. Stepwise discriminant function analyses identified several academic variables, demographic variables, and curricular interventions as significant predictors of degree attainment (p < 0.05). The strongest academic predictors of degree attainment included first-semester college GPA, first-semester number of college credits completed, high school GPA, and number of courses completed by exam. The strongest demographic predictors of degree attainment were date of admittance and housing location (on-campus vs. off-campus). Of the two curricular interventions examined in the study, one, a student success course, was found to predict degree attainment for the target population. [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:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
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 - Assessments and Surveys: ACT Assessment
What Works Clearinghouse Reviewed: Meets Evidence Standards without Reservations