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K-12 Dissertation Abstracts

The Educational Administration Department is pleased to present a compilation of Dissertation Abstracts from the HALE Ph.D. and K-12 Educational Administration Ph.D. programs.  These abstracts represent the rich and dynamic community of scholars in EAD.  The research presented reflects the wide range topics that emerge from a local as well as global perspective on postsecondary education and educational leadership.  In reviewing these abstracts we hope you will learn about the interesting research that goes on in the EAD doctoral programs.

K-12 Educational Administration

2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013

Stanley S. Chase (2004)
Advisor: Dr. Christopher Dunbar

The question whether intrusive counseling positively impacts the retention of at risk students was motivated by national and local high attrition rates. If colleges are to increase or maintain enrollment, creative means for retaining students is crucial; this factor was a primary driving force of this study. The purpose of this study is to investigate retention tendencies of atrisk first‐time‐to‐college students at Lansing Community College. This study examined intrusive counseling intervention with a population of at‐risk students and their re‐enrollment in subsequent terms. Intrusive counseling focused on the areas of student need, such as coping skills, self‐confidence, self‐image, anxiety, beliefs, expectations, prejudices, academic ability, and connectedness to the college campus and its resources.

A pilot study was conducted to identify factors that were strong predictors of students who may be at‐risk of dropping out (find jobs before degree completion) or stopping out (leave for a semester or two and return). The study revealed several characteristics that provided high predictability of success and identified at‐risk students. The items utilized were: (1) Ethnic background; (2) High school grade point average; (3) Number of hours employed; (4) College financial situation. The methodological design of the study allowed for the predictors of success to be included on the admissions application, resulting in the identification of the target population of those students who are at‐risk of not continuing in the subsequent term. Over a three‐semester time‐span, each of 897 students who did or did not meet with a counselor became a member of the research sample group. The target population was tracked to determine the number of students who re‐enrolled in subsequent terms and whether there existed a significant difference between the re‐enrollment of the target group who did meet with a counselor and those who did not meet with a counselor.

The results of the study revealed students who did meet with a counselor were single and non‐white; students who did not meet with a counselor were white. Further, the study showed that students who meet with a counselor were generally more academically oriented and tended to carry more credits. The study found that the academic performance of students who did meet with a counselor was not significantly different from those students who did not meet with a counselor. The study revealed that students who did meet with a counselor across all semesters were significantly more likely to re‐enroll in subsequent semesters than those who did not meet with a counselor. The results of the study allowed for the following conclusions to be made by this researcher. Emphasis should be placed upon the importance of counselor intervention on at‐risk first‐time‐to‐college students. The data indicates a strong relationship between intrusive counseling and re‐enrollment in subsequent semesters. The lack of significant differences in academic performance should not minimize the significant benefit that can be achieved relative to the retention of at‐risk students who meet with a counselor.