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Supporting Undeclared Students Facing Academic Probation

Mattucci, Gina (2021) Supporting Undeclared Students Facing Academic Probation. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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With retention and attrition rates being a high priority at institutions, it is imperative that support personnel, such as academic advisors, help students maintain good academic standing in college. The purpose of this research study was to determine if mandatory interventions such as intrusive academic advising and a student success plan academically helped undeclared first- and second-year students facing academic probation. Guiding questions for this study included the following: (a) What are students’ perceptions of intrusive academic advising? (b) To what extent did students who engaged in intrusive academic advising increase their GPA at final semester? and (c) What are students’ perceptions of the student success plan contributing to their academic performance in the second half of the semester? This mixed methods study collected data from 10 first- and second-year undeclared students in the humanities and social sciences via qualitative and quantitative methods. The qualitative methods consisted of a semi-structured interview, student success plan, and weekly academic advising appointments. The quantitative methods consisted of two surveys issued at the halfway point of the study and at the completion of the study.

The major findings of the study indicated that (a) students perceived mandatory interventions to be beneficial, (b) college experiences and expectations differed for students, and (c) COVID-19 impacted students academically and non-academically throughout the fall 2020 semester. In addition to these findings, 50 percent of students improved their grade point average from mid-semester to final grades, resulting in good academic standing for the spring 2021 semester. Using these findings, the researcher formulated a set of recommendations to improve academic advising for undeclared first- and second-year students facing academic probation. These included (a) strengthening the advisor/advisee relationship, (b) requiring academic advising appointments, (c) designing and implementing a student success plan, (d) creating first-year workshop courses, (e) developing an early warning system to alert students and advisors of academic progress and, (f) creating a peer mentoring program.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Mattucci, Ginagmg48@pitt.edugmg480000-0001-5502-8228
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairTrovato,
Committee MemberSchuster,
Committee MemberJafry O'Connor,
Date: 16 June 2021
Defense Date: 14 April 2021
Approval Date: 7 July 2021
Submission Date: 15 June 2021
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 153
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: Academic advising; Academic probation; Intrusive advising; Mandatory interventions; Student success plan; Undeclared students
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2021 13:07
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2021 13:07


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