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Effects of Risk Factors on Student Learning & Engagement Maureen Pettitt, Ph.D. Skagit Valley College PNAIRP, October 2004.

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Presentation on theme: "Effects of Risk Factors on Student Learning & Engagement Maureen Pettitt, Ph.D. Skagit Valley College PNAIRP, October 2004."— Presentation transcript:

1 Effects of Risk Factors on Student Learning & Engagement Maureen Pettitt, Ph.D. Skagit Valley College PNAIRP, October 2004

2 Session Overview Purpose of Study Learning & Engagement Risk Factors CCSSE Study Findings –Active & Collaborative Learning –College Support –Social Interactions & Relationships –Use of Services Continuing Use in TRIO Program

3 Purpose of the Study Determine what constitutes “risk” for our student population and the relative size of that group. Discover linkages between risk factors and students’ academic performance and learning outcomes, student engagement, and perceptions of campus environment.

4 Any coward can sit in his home and criticize a pilot for flying into a mountain in a fog. But I would rather, by far, die on a mountainside than in bed. --Charles A. Lindbergh (US Aviator & Author, )

5 Learning & Engagement Students who get involved with the people and activities of the college (beyond the traditional classroom) have –higher retention rates; –greater personal growth, achievement and satisfaction; and –increased participation in further learning opportunities (Astin, 1985)

6 Learning & Engagement “Social constructivists believe that knowledge is socially constructed and that we learn, not by accurately reproducing an objective reality, but rather though the social process of constructing knowledge through negotiation and agreement among knowledgeable peers.” ( K. Patricia Cross, 1999)

7 NSSE/CCSSE National Survey of Student Engagement (pronounced “nessie”) –http://www.iub.edu/%7Ensse/http://www.iub.edu/%7Ensse/ Community College Survey of Student Engagement (pronounced “sessie”) –http://www.ccsse.org/http://www.ccsse.org/

8 Community College Student Report Student Behaviors College Requirements & Support Student Background Information Student Learning & Development Reactions to College

9 Risk Defined Risk (n) –The possibility of suffering harm or loss; danger. –A factor, thing, element, or course involving uncertain danger; a hazard. Idiom: at risk –In an endangered state, especially from lack of proper care: unsupervised children who are at risk of dropping out of school.

10 Risk Factors The “risk” – the student may be unable to attain a degree or complete a program

11 YOUR Definition What factors do you think characterize students at risk at your college? Based on your definitions, about what percent of the student body at your college have two or more risk factors?

12 Risk Factors NCES (2003): 1.delayed post-secondary enrollment 2.high school dropout or GED recipient 3.part-time enrollment 4.financial independence 5.having dependents other than spouse 6.single parent status 7.working full-time while enrolled

13 Using these criteria, more than 70% of students who first enrolled in community college had a least one risk factor, and more than 50% had two or more risk factors. In contrast, 72% of students who first enrolled at public four-year institutions had no risk risks. Boswell & Wilson (2004)

14 Risk Factors Used in Analysis of SVC CCSSE Data Academically Under-prepared Financially Independent Single Parent English Not Native Language Mother’s Education Father’s Education Disabled

15 Academically Under-prepared –“How likely is it that the following issues would cause you to withdraw from this college?” Very likely or likely response for “academically unprepared” Financially Independent –“My own income/savings” is listed as a Major Source used to pay the student’s tuition at the college

16 Single Parent –Yes response to “Do you have children who live with you?” and “Are you married?” English Not Native Language –No response to “Is English your native (first) language?”

17 Mother’s Education –Response to “What is the highest level of education obtained by your: Mother?” is Not a high school graduate Father’s Education –Ditto for Father Disabled –If response is other than rarely/never or not applicable to “How often do you use services for people with disabilities?”

18 Risk Categories – SVC CCSSE Study Three categories in analysis: –No Risk (risk factors = 0) –Low Risk (risk factors =1) –At Risk (2 or more risk factors) Breakdown by category (N = 765) –No Risk = 143 (19%) –Low Risk = 264 (34%) –At Risk = 358 (47%)

19 General Observations Students in the highest risk category had more credit hours completed at the college, but were significantly younger While 52.6% of the total N were females, they accounted for 47.7% of the “at risk” category Students with greater risk factors were more likely to access the Internet from a campus computer lab than at home

20 Age

21 Primary Internet Access

22 If I have someone who believes in me, I can move mountains. -- Diana Ross (US singer & actress, ____)

23 Percent Friends & Family “Extremely Supportive”

24 While small, it is still of concern that a greater percentage of students with two or more risk factors were less likely to “recommend the college to a friend or family member” and less satisfied “with the quality of instruction” at the college.

25 Comparison of CCSSE Students (SVC Only) According to Risk Categories

26 Social Interaction & Relationships Students with two or more risk factors were significantly more likely to: –feel they had a poorer relationship with administrative personnel compared to the "No Risk" group (p =.028). –feel they had a poorer relationship with instructors compared to the "No Risk" group (p =.007).

27 Social Interaction & Relationships Students with two or more risk factors were significantly more likely to: –feel they had a poorer relationship with other students compared to the "No Risk" group (p =.007). – feel the college was a comfortable environment more than the "No Risk" group (p =.007).

28 Use of Services Students with two or more risk factors were significantly more likely to: –use peer or other tutoring more than the "Low Risk" group (p =.005). –use services for people with disabilities more than the "Low Risk" group (p =.048) and the "No Risk" group (p =.001). –seek financial aid advising less than the “No Risk" (p =.010) group (The “Low Risk” group also seeks financial aid advising less than the “No Risk" (p =.027) group.)

29 Risk Factors – TRIO Program The U.S. Department of Education’s TRIO Program was created to provide educational opportunities for students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds, and includes the following three criteria: 1.low-income students, 2.first-generation students, and 3.students with disabilities.

30 Continuing Data Collection: TRIO Program Participants Created an instrument with CCSSE items; very targeted; no demographic data Track results of TRIO students over time/against CCSSE baseline; part of the TRIO program’s Outcomes Assessment Plan Administered at the end of each quarter in the College Success Skills course for TRIO students

31 Comparison of Students with Two or More Risk Factors in CCSSE Risk Study and Students Participating in SVC’s TRIO Program

32 College Support SSS participants feel the college helped them cope with non-academic responsibilities more than all other groups (p <.001). SSS participants feel the college helped them thrive socially more than all other groups (p <.001). SSS participants feel the college provided the support they needed to succeed more than all other groups (p =.006).

33 Social Interaction & Relationships SSS participants feel they had a better relationship with administrative personnel than the "Low Risk" group (p =.001) or the "At Risk" group (p <.001). SSS participants feel they had a better relationship with instructors compared to the "At Risk" group (p <.001).

34 Use of Services SSS participants sought financial aid advising more than the "Low Risk" (p =.002) and "At Risk" (p =.001) groups. SSS participants used services for people with disabilities more than all other groups ( p <.001). SSS participants used career counseling more than the "Low Risk" group (p =.023) or the "At Risk" group (p =.009).

35 Use of Services SSS participants used academic advising/ planning more than all of the other groups (p =.001). SSS participants used peer or other tutoring more than the "No Risk" group (p =.009) and the "Low Risk" group (p =.001).

36 Notable Findings The "At Risk" group felt they had a poorer relationship with instructors compared to the "No Risk" group (p =.007). However, the "SSS Users" felt they had a better relationship with instructors compared to the "At Risk" group (p <.001). There were no other differences between the groups.

37 Notable Findings The "At Risk" group felt they had a poorer relationship with administrative personnel compared to the "No Risk" group (p =.028). However, the "SSS participants" felt they had a better relationship with administrative personnel than the "Low Risk" group (p =.001) or the "At Risk" group (p <.001). There were no other differences between the groups.

38 Climb Mount Fuji, O snail, But slowly, slowly. -- Kobayashi Issa (Japanese poet, )

39 Resources Boswell, K., & Wilson, C. D. (2004). Keeping America’s Promise: Report on the Future of the Community College. (http://www.ecs.org/html/Document.asp?chousei d=5309)http://www.ecs.org/html/Document.asp?chousei d=5309 National Center for Educational Statistics (2003). Community College Student: Goals, Academic Preparation, and Outcomes. (http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubi d= )http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubi d=


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