Date of Graduation
Institutions of higher education are facing more challenges today than ever regarding student retention and graduation rates. Graduation rates in higher education have been declining over the past several years. Because of this, many institutions are becoming increasingly interested in the needs of special populations in an effort to retain them at higher rates. One of these special populations is first-generation, low-income college students. The federal TRIO grant, Student Support Services (SSS) program is funded by the United States Department of Education to serve this population to increase their graduation rates. The purpose of this study was to examine the West Virginia University (WVU) SSS/TRIO participants' graduation rates and academic performance (GPA) upon graduation as compared to eligible non-participants and non-eligible students entering as first-time, full-time freshmen at WVU during the fall semesters of 1998 through 2003. This study also examined if attributes identified including age, ethnicity, gender, high school GPA, state residency, and ACT/SAT scores appeared to have an impact on graduation rates or academic performance (GPA) upon graduation of the three groups. Data were collected in collaboration with WVU Admissions and Records and were analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences. Descriptive statistics were used to report the participants' profile using the identified attributes. Chi square was used to analyze differences in graduation rates among the three groups. Analysis of variance was used to ascertain if there was significant difference among the groups in academic performance (GPA) upon graduation. Discriminant analysis was used to determine impact of identified attributes on graduation rates, and multiple regression analysis was used to determine impact of attributes affecting academic performance (GPA) upon graduation. A significant difference was found in six-year and five-year graduation rates with no significant difference identified for four-year rates among the groups. A significant difference was identified in academic performance (GPA) upon graduation among groups. It was noted that attributes identified in this study did have an impact on graduation for all groups. It was also found that attributes identified did have an impact on academic performance (GPA) upon graduation for all groups.
Copenhaver Bailey, Barbara, "Impact of the West Virginia University Student Support Services /TRIO program from 1998â€“2004." (2005). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 8667.