Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Department of Leadership and Human Resource Development

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of participation in a content-based residential college versus non-participation in a content-based residential college on retention in the second year of study at a research university-very high research activity (RU/VH) in the southern portion of the United States. The dependent variable of the study was whether or not the traditional-age, first-time freshman students enrolled at the study institution in their fifth semester, or second to third year, of study. The target population for this study was defined as traditional-age, first-time college freshmen who enrolled in a research university-very high research activity (RU/VH) in the South. The accessible population was defined as traditional age, first-time college freshmen who enrolled in one selected research university-very high research activity (RU/VH) in the 2014-2015 academic year (n = 5,542). Of these 5,542 students, 1,373 resided in a content-based residential college during their freshmen year. The data were descriptive in nature and therefore analyzed using descriptive statistics, including frequencies, percentages, means, standard deviations, the analysis of variance (ANOVA) technique, t-tests and the chi-square test of independence technique.

In addition, a Multiple Discriminant Analysis was conducted to assess if a model existed that significantly increased the researcher’s ability to correctly classify students on their retention from second to third year. Findings indicated that the number of credit hours earned in each of the first four semesters influenced the retention of students into their fifth semester, and therefore, dropping below full-time status put students at risk for not completing their degree. Findings also indicated that a higher percentage of students who participated in content-based residential college were retained to fifth semester (77.9%) than those that did not participate in a content-based residential college (73.0%), suggesting that participating in a content-based residential college increased the likelihood of retention in the second to third year, or fifth semester, of study. The researcher recommends the expansion of content-based residential colleges into multiple-year offerings across a wide variety of curricula.

Date

11-14-2017

Committee Chair

Burnett, Michael

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