Year of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
International Educational Leadership
Department or School/College
Phyllis J. Washington College of Education
Bill McCaw, Frances L. O'Reilly, Zhen Cao, Roch Turner
Engagement, First-year Full-time, First-year seminar, Integration, Involvement, Retention
University of Montana
College student retention is a complex phenomenon influenced by a myriad of factors and with wide-ranging implications for university function. First-year seminar is one approach to increase first-year student retention through involvement, engagement, and integration. This quantitative study examines the influence of first-year seminar on retention of first-year, full-time, four-year degree-seeking students who matriculated during the fall 2016, 2017, 2018 semester and remained enrolled for fall 2017, 2018, 2019 semester at six institutions in two Northwest states in the United States.
This study utilized an odds ratio to investigate whether first-year seminar participation had a statistically significant influence on the probability of students being retained at the targeted institutions. The results of this study were not statistically significant indicating that first-year seminar participation did not have a statistically significant effect on the probability of students being retained at the study's institutions. The odds ratio value of 1.33 indicated that students who participated in first-year seminar had 95% confidence interval of 1.27-1.39 result in not having a statistically significant effect on the probability of students being retained at the study's institutions.
Future research could replicate the study at all public four-year universities in a bigger population ideally nationwide. Additionally a mixed methods approach may help to identify underlying factors and confounding variables that contribute to the results of this research and clarify why students who attended the first-year seminar did not return for the next fall semester.
Sanavi, Sahar, "The Influence of the First-Year Seminar Participation on Student Retention" (2022). Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers. 11867.
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