Published on July 4, 2016
1. ACTION RESEARCH PROPOSAL Motivation Strategies Impacting Undergraduate Retention
2. Problem Statement The problem, as indicated in this study, involved a large private university that was experiencing retention decline of up to 30% in undergraduate students after they complete their 4th course. Students began to drop their program on or about their 3rd or 4th class into their undergraduate degree program.
3. Purpose Identify factors related to declining retention Increased student drop rates Isolate the culprits Conduct research Survey current students Implement solution strategy Repeat survey Report and Recommend
4. Work Setting Largest Private University Campus classrooms (2) Undergraduate students Freshman New students At risk students Adjunct faculty Open enrollment access
5. Writers Role Teacher Researcher Graduate student Stakeholder Life-Long Learner
6. Causative Analysis At Risk Students Socio-economic factors Background influences Open Enrollment Underserved populations Ease of enrollment University accountability
7. Problem Description Declining Retention in undergraduate freshman students Drop out rate increasing Quality of Student Services High Risk students Changing demographics Underserved populations Faculty Involvement
8. Problem Documentation White 51% Black 30% Hispanic 11% Asian 3% Native American 1% Other 4% UOPX Total Enrollment by Ethnicity White Black Hispanic Asian Native American Other White 64% Black 13% Hispanic 11% Asian 7% Native American 1% Other 4% National Total Enrollment by Ethnicity White Black Hispanic Asian Native American Other
9. Risk Factors Gender-Male Race-Minority Socio-economic status-poor Single Parents Employed Part-time No academic support system Not prepared for the demands of college life Performed poorly in high school
10. Risk Factors Risk Factor#1 Enrolling in college part-time, takes too long to finish, students get discouraged. Risk Factor#2 Delaying entry into postsecondary education after high school. Risk Factor#3 Not having a regular high school diploma, rather a GED equivalent. Risk Factor#4 Having Children Risk Factor#5 Being a single parent Risk Factor#6 Being Financially independent of parents Risk Factor#7 Working Full-Time while enrolled
11. Open Enrollment Easy access No entrance exams required No waitlists Little or no application fees Underserved populations Attractive to high risk students Attract diverse populations High pressure enrollment
12. Expected Outcomes Identify retention factors Implement Change in retention rates Increase in graduation rates Improve faculty communication Improve student services Provide resources for at risk students
13. Measurement Outcomes Student surveys Identify trends Increase retention by 5% 1.5 standard deviation or greater in the level of retention Create positive change Increase student satisfaction
14. Solution Strategy Identify risk factors Implement new student services program Offer resources such as on campus child care, on-campus housing, employment assistance Increase faculty communication and interaction Update learning environments Remediation for low high school achievers
15. Results Compare both survey results Document change in student satisfaction Solution strategy emulation Program can be replicated New services provide needed support Higher retention after implementation Lower drop rates after implementation
16. Recommendation Revisit the costs associated with new student services and revise as necessary Select committee to oversee program Review and revise annually Speaking opportunities at other colleges to share program success. Publish articles in education journals about the solution strategy success.
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