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Supporting Student Success

Sprankle, Laurie Ann (2020) Supporting Student Success. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Attrition rates for first year students enrolled in community colleges remains high and results in poor first to second year retention and overall poor retention. The average national attrition rate remains averages 38% resulting in poor retention and completion rates for students enrolling in community colleges (NCES, 2019). To address the issue of retention colleges have consistently engaged in a variety of efforts to increase retention. In recent years, such efforts have increasingly turned toward the use of first year experience courses to increase student retention.
This study was conducted during the pilot offering of a first year experience course, SEM 105, in the fall semester of 2019. Specifically, this study explores the impact that completing a first year experience course has on student perceptions of feeling prepared, empowered, and supported. During the semester, students were exposed to institutional resources and the college environment as core components of the course curriculum. Using an embedded pre and post survey and focus group, student perceptions of feeling supported in the community college setting were evaluated.
Central to understanding perceptions of the college environment is to allow students to identify any barriers that they find as either real or potential impediments to their successful completion of courses and programs. This dissertation is situated in the viewpoint that there is a need to reform the present systems to better meet the needs of students to identify and remove existing institutional barriers. Gaining an understanding of student perceptions of institutional supports may provide a means to remove institutional barriers and affect substantive and positive change to increase student retention and success.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Sprankle, Laurie AnnLAS332@pitt.eduLAS332
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairShafiq, M. Najeebmnshafiq@pitt.edumnshafiq
Committee MemberDelale-O'Connor, Lorilori.delale-oconnor@pitt.edulori-delale-oconnor
Committee MemberTrettel, Brendabtrettel@ccac.edun/a
Date: 2 September 2020
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 24 June 2020
Approval Date: 2 September 2020
Submission Date: 8 August 2020
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 108
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: n/a
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2020 15:44
Last Modified: 02 Sep 2020 15:44


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