Factors predicting the success of first-year, first -semester students at Tennessee State University

Regina Vincent Clark, Tennessee State University

Abstract

This study examined factors that might contribute to the success of first-year students in the first semester of enrollment at Tennessee State University. The study is based on a survey conducted in 2004 that examined reasons students chose to go to college, academic preparation prior to enrolling (based on high school grade point average and ACT scores), and the possible correlation of parents' education. ^ The population was 470 freshman students entering college for the first time. Several statistical analyses were performed to test eight hypotheses related to first-semester academic success and retention from the first semester to the second semester. Of the eight null hypotheses tested, four were rejected, three were retained and in one case, the null hypothesis was partially supported. Overall, high school preparation (based on high school grade point average and ACT scores) can be used to predict the student's success (retention and academic performance) in the first semester of college. The ACT was not necessarily a valid predictor for retention from the first semester to the second semester. Parents' education had little validity in predicting student success, and students' reasons for enrolling could not be used to predict academic success or retention. ^ Recommendations made as a result of this study include continued research particularly at historically Black colleges and universities such as Tennessee State University. Early identification and intervention of student progress are recommended as well as further support of those traditionally classified as first-generation college students. Finally, although in this study, students' reasons for attending college were not found to be predictors of success, when analyzing factors that influence retention, some attention must be directed to the students' intent and expectations of the college experience.^

Subject Area

Education, Administration|Education, Guidance and Counseling|Education, Higher

Recommended Citation

Regina Vincent Clark, "Factors predicting the success of first-year, first -semester students at Tennessee State University" (2007). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3259044.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI3259044

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