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ERIC Number: ED569513
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 130
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3039-1895-7
The Relationship between Curricular Physical Activity and College Retention after the First Year
Bounds, Laura E.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Northern Arizona University
College retention has become increasingly important for many reasons. Individuals who attain bachelor's degrees, on average, have higher earning power and more career options than individuals with only a high school degree. Higher education institutes also benefit when students are retained and graduate. With the most recent budget crisis, higher education funding is changing from enrollment to outcomes based, such as the number of credits successfully completed by students or actual graduates. The college retention literature has shown consistently positive relationships among H.S. GPA, ACT scores, and academic success. However, the literature is mixed on living location, ethnicity, and gender. First generation status and low SES students tend to have higher dropout rates than subsequent generation students and mid to high SES students. Many colleges have implemented numerous retention efforts to facilitate successful adjustment to the college environment. These include, but are not limited to, freshman year experience courses, summer bridge programs, learning communities, and mentoring programs. These programs address study skills and time management, introduce students to the resources on campus, and assist with adjustment to college. The literature has shown that some of the biggest challenges for college student retention are stress, anxiety, and change in social support. Coincidentally, these are the same challenges which regular physical activity can offset. Some studies have evaluated the benefits of physical activity in college, but none have looked specifically at the relationship between curricular physical activity (cPA) and college retention. The present study investigated the relationship of cPA with college retention. Institutional data from the fall 2012 and fall 2013 semesters were evaluated for 2,887 first time full time (12 credits or more) freshman students between the ages of 17-19 at the time of acceptance to the university. Athletes, international, transfer, part-time, and non-traditional age students were excluded from the study. Hierarchical logistic regression was used to determine if a predictive relationship existed between H.S. GPA, ACT score, successful completion of a physical education services (PES) class, living location, first generation college student status, SES, gender, ethnicity, and college retention. The findings of this study support the existing literature, with H.S. GPA being a significant positive predictor of academic success. Living on campus, first generation college student status, and SES were also found to be significant predictors of college retention. ACT scores, successful completion of PES class, and gender were not significant predictors of college retention in this population. These findings are discussed in the context of existing literature, potential academic policy, and future recommendations for research. [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 - Assessments and Surveys: ACT Assessment