The Importance of Freshman Experiences in Predicting Students’ Retention Decisions

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jessica Nicole Gore (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Hall P. Beck

Abstract: Undergraduate retention is a growing problem; approximately 50% of students who matriculate at American institutions fail to graduate within seven years (National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, 2002). This study assessed the utility of the College Persistence Questionnaire Version 2 (CPQ-V2) to predict whether freshmen returned for the sophomore year. Between 6 to 8 weeks into their first semester, participants (n = 701) from Angelo State University (n = 166), Appalachian State University (n = 333), and Tusculum College (n = 202) responded online to the questionnaire. A series of binary logistic regressions was performed, each predicting retention. Results indicated that variables typically found in the student database (e.g., high school rank) are of limited value in identifying at-risk students at this point in the process, and that prediction is only moderately increased by adding background variables (e.g., reasons for attending) that are not typically collected by universities. On the other hand, the ten Student Experience Scales of the CPQ-V2 produced a substantial increment in the explained variance. These findings demonstrate the validity of the CPQ V2 as a predictor of undergraduate retention and the importance of students’ experiences with the academic and social environments in determining persistence decisions.

Additional Information

Gore, J.N. (2010). The Importance of Freshman Experiences in Predicting Students’ Retention Decisions. Unpublished master’s thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2010
College Persistence Questionnaire (CPQ), Retention, Attrition, College Dropouts, Degree

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