RETENTION OF HIGH-RISK STUDENTS AT CHEYNEY UNIVERSITY: EFFECTIVENESS OF TWO INTERVENTION STRATEGIES (PENNSYLVANIA)

MILDRED VIRGINIA THOMPSON, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract

Statement of Problem. This retrospective study examined the effectiveness of a special program for educationally and economically deprived college students at Cheyney University. The special program was initiated at Cheyney University in 1972 under the Higher Education Equal Opportunity Act of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (Act 101). Procedures. With approval from the Director of Act 101 at Cheyney University and in accordance with the Privacy Act, students' data files were examined to compare intervention strategies and the impact of these strategies on academic success and retention over a four-year period. The 1,012 student data files used in this study represent the high-risk population who enrolled at Cheyney University in 1974 and 1977. These high-risk students were randomly assigned by the admissions office to Act 101 Post-High School Summer Experience, Act 101 Regular Fall Semester, or the regular college curriculum. Independent variables were program procedures and gender of student. Dependent variables were scores on the Scholastic Aptitude Test, the Missouri College English Test, the Nelson-Denny Reading Test, the Cooperative Mathematics Test, credits attempted, credits earned, first semester GPA, cumulative GPA and retention/attrition data. Analysis of variance, analysis of covariance and chi-square analysis were used to analyze data. Results. (1) Students participating in the summer Act 101 programs of 1974/1977 had significantly higher grade point averages than other high-risk students who only participated in the academic year program. (2) The retention rate for the summer program high-risk students was significantly higher than that of the fall semester high-risk students. (3) The attrition/retention rates of male and female high-risk students enrolled at Cheyney University 1974/1977 did not differ significantly. Conclusions. Summer programs were significantly more effective than other strategies in helping Act 101, high-risk students improve post-test scores and maintain grade-point averages. In comparison, the fall programs were less effective, perhaps, because of the flexibility in program structure. High-risk students enrolled at Cheyney University 1974/1977 tended to need well supervised and planned programs in order to be successful.

Subject Area

Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

THOMPSON, MILDRED VIRGINIA, "RETENTION OF HIGH-RISK STUDENTS AT CHEYNEY UNIVERSITY: EFFECTIVENESS OF TWO INTERVENTION STRATEGIES (PENNSYLVANIA)" (1983). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI8406726.
https://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI8406726

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