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© 2012 Boise State University1 Marcia Belcheir, Ph.D. Shari Ellertson, Ph.D. Boise State University Analyzing changes in retention and graduation
© 2012 Boise State University2 Boise State’s retention and graduation rates have been steadily improving
© 2012 Boise State University3 Which efforts seem to be related to changes in retention? Efforts include: Course capacity and waitlists Finish-in-Four More advisors First-year seminars, learning communities, and residential colleges Early warning systems in a number of first-year courses Restructuring early math courses Student review their Academic Advisement Report at 30, 60, and 90 credits Outreach to students who were eligible to enroll but had not Faculty development activities to help foster student learning and persistence.
© 2012 Boise State University4 Admissions has also attracted more students who: Have higher test scores Have higher high school GPAs Are younger Are more likely to be non-residents
© 2012 Boise State University5 Conducted 2 studies: Study 1: Predicting retention using 10 years of cohort data that includes both admissions and college experience variables Study 2: Looking at the pattern of change in key variables to see which ones followed a pattern similar to the changes in retention and graduation
© 2012 Boise State University6 Admissions data included: Index scores (combination of test scores and high school GPA) Age Residency
© 2012 Boise State University7 Early college experience variables included: Course withdrawals in 1 st semester (Y/N) Took both math and English in 1 st year (Y/N) Pell eligibility (Y/N) Credits attempted Unmet financial need Living on-campus (Y/N) 1 st semester GPA added as a final step for retention and graduation analyses
© 2012 Boise State University8 What predicts first semester GPA? Step 1. Admissions variables (index score, residency, age) accounted for 23% of variability in GPA Step 2. Campus experience measures (taking math and English, course withdrawal, Pell eligibility, unmet need, credits attempted, and living on-campus) added another 5% Everything in final model was significant except Pell eligibility and living on-campus Index score had the strongest relationship to GPA
© 2012 Boise State University9 What predicts retention one year later? Step 1: Admissions variables accounted for 6% of variability Step 2: Adding early college experience variables raised percentage to 11% Step 3: Adding first semester GPA raised percentage to 27%
© 2012 Boise State University10 Final model for retention: First semester GPA was most predictive Index score fell out of significance for final model All other variables were significant except Pell eligibility
© 2012 Boise State University11 Predicting graduation: Variability accounted for at 3 steps in the process In 4 years: 1. Admissions: 17% 2. Add Early college experiences: 21% 3. Add 1 st semester GPA: 28% In 6 years: 1. Admissions: 14% 2. Add Early college experiences: 18% 3. Add 1 st semester GPA: 30%
© 2012 Boise State University12 Final models comparison: At 4 years: Everything significant except age, unmet financial need, and taking both math and English in 1 st year Most significant variables were 1 st semester GPA followed by credits attempted, and index score At 6 years: Everything significant except age, residency Most significant variables were 1 st semester GPA followed by index score and credits attempted
© 2012 Boise State University13 Interesting information BUT How does it relate to changes in retention OVER TIME? Needed to look at patterns of change focusing on the variables that were identified as most significant Started at a point prior to when major changes occurred as the comparison point
© 2012 Boise State University14 Retention and graduation rates by cohort year compared to the 2005 cohort Cohort yearPercent retained Significant compared to 2005? Percent graduated in 4 years Significant compared to 2005? No6.7No Yes10.9Yes Yes12Yes YesNA YesNA YesNA
© 2012 Boise State University15 Variables with a similar pattern (with comparisons to fall 2005 cohort) Cohort yearRetention rateMath grade1 st semester GPA Course withdrawals 2006NNNN 2007YYYN 2008YYYY 2009YYYY 2010YYYY 2011YYYY
© 2012 Boise State University16 Some variables with a DISSIMILAR pattern (using comparisons to the 2005 cohort) Cohort yearRetentionIndex scoreLived on campus Credits attempted 2006NNYN 2007YNYN 2008YNYN 2009YNYY 2010YNYY 2011YYYY
© 2012 Boise State University17 Conclusions Discovering what’s related to retention is not the same thing as discovering what is related to changes in retention First term GPA is strongest predictor of retention and graduation Although index scores have the strongest association with first term GPA, the lack of change in scores over time makes them an unlikely candidate for explaining changes in retention Instead, changes in math courses and other academic supports are more likely reasons
© 2012 Boise State University18 To view the studies: Go to: Iassess.boisestate.edu Select “Research Publications” Look under “Retention” for report (Predicting Retention Using Ten Years of Cohorts and Retention Data) Also look for report (Addressing the Pattern of Changes in Retention and Graduation)
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