Date of Graduation

12-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Human Resource and Workforce Development (EdD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders

Advisor

Kit Kacirek

Committee Member

Ketevan Mamiseishvili

Second Committee Member

Jack DeVore

Third Committee Member

Michael Miller

Keywords

Education; Academic performance; Extended orientations; First-year experience; Persistence

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to compare first-time, full-time incoming freshmen from 2008 to 2011 who participated in an extended orientation, first-year experience (FYE) program at the University of Arkansas Fort Smith known as Cub Camp with incoming freshman from the same time period who did not participate. The study was designed to identify possible significant differences in the persistence rates and the academic performance of these two groups.

The study utilized a series of two proportion z-tests and two tailed t-test to compare persistence and academic performance data for the two groups. The two groups were further compared using variables such as gender, first-generation college student status, and college preparedness. The study found no significant differences in persistence rates when Cub Camp participants were compared with non-participants except for when first-generation students were compared; however, significant differences were found to exist between Cub Camp participants and non-participants in terms of academic performance. When gender was considered male and female Cub Camp participants outperformed their non-participant counter parts academically and that difference was found to be significant. When college readiness was considered, no significant difference was found in either persistence rates or academic performance.

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