ERIC Number: EJ701984
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Mar-1
Reference Count: 41
Predictors of Academic Achievement and Retention among College Freshmen: A Longitudinal Study
DeBerard, M. Scott; Spielmans, Glen I.; Julka, Deana L.
College Student Journal, v38 n1 p66 Mar 2004
The freshman year represents a stressful transition for college students. Despite a multitude of social, academic, and emotional stressors, most college students successfully cope with a complex new life role and achieve academic success. Other students are less able to successfully manage this transition and decide to leave higher education during or at the end of their freshman year. The purpose of this study was to investigate possible risk factors for low academic achievement and attrition in a sample of freshman college students from a private west coast comprehensive university. The following research questions were assessed: (1) What are the demographic, academic, health, social, and coping characteristics of entering freshmen and how are these variables interrelated; (2) What is the academic achievement and rate of attrition for this freshman cohort and are these two variables related; (3) What are the correlations between the proposed risk factors with academic achievement and attrition; and (4) What percent of variance in academic achievement and attrition can be predicted by regression equations using risk factors as predictors? Participants included 204 undergraduate students, solicited from introductory psychology and sociology classes at a private west coast university. A packet of questionnaires was administered to participants during the last 30 minutes of a class period. Average class size was 30 students and surveys were completed during the first week of classes of Fall Semester. Descriptive statistics for the 10 predictor variables are contained in Table 1. Table 2 presents the intercorrelations among the predictor variables. The predictor-criterion correlations are presented in Table 3. Table 4 contains the results of a forced-entry linear multiple regression in which each of the 10 predictors were used to predict cumulative GPA. Results indicated substantial correlations between the 10 predictors and cumulative first year GPA while only a single predictor was modestly correlated with retention. This study demonstrated an ability to predict a very large amount of variance in freshman year cumulative academic achievement based on a brief and comprehensive assessment of students during their first week of classes. This model may be used as a tool to proactively identify students at high risk for poor academic performance during their freshman year and to provide direction regarding proactive intervention strategies for maladaptive behaviors predictive of poor academic performance (e.g., smoking, binge-drinking, social support, coping).
Descriptors: College Freshmen, Grade Point Average, Academic Achievement, Predictor Variables, Student Adjustment, Academic Persistence, Psychological Patterns, Student Characteristics, Models
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Publication Type: Information Analyses; Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: SAT (College Admission Test)