Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership, Research and Counseling

First Advisor

Eugene Kennedy


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of Student Support Services (SSS) at Southeastern Louisiana University as these services relate to grade point averages and retention rates. Four groups of 45 students were selected for the study. Forty-five SSS freshmen participants were matched on their at risk classification with 45 non-SSS participants. Forty-five SSS sophomores and 45 non-SSS contemporary sophomores were also matched according to the at risk classification. First generation and low income students who scored 18 and below on the ACT, and had earned a high school grade point average of 3.0 or less constitute the at risk classification in this study. Increased grade point average was defined as a 2.0 or greater on a 4.0 scale. Freshmen retention was defined as entering freshmen who had earned 24 semester hours at the end of the 1995-96 academic year. Sophomore retention was defined as second year students who had earned 48 semester hours at the end of the 1995-96 academic year. Findings from both quantitative and qualitative research procedures suggest that the comprehensive services (academic, career and financial aid counseling, workshops and tutoring) contributed to increased grade point averages and retention rates.