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ERIC Number: ED561508
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 108
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3034-0592-1
The Impact of Program-Specific Orientation Courses on Student Retention and Academic Progress at a For-Profit, Postsecondary Institution
Lipe, David N.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Texas A&M University - Commerce
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, [varphi] = -0.43, p = 0.050. 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 = 0.001. 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. [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: Postsecondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas