Examining the impact of a first-year experience course on student retention and persistence at a Midwest, two-year public college
Schenzel, Jason E.
University of Wisconsin--Stout
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A Midwest two-year technical college implemented a first-year experience (FYE) course in fall of 2017, but no formal examination into the course's impact had been conducted. The purpose of this study was to investigate the college's student retention numbers pre- and post FYE course implementation and to understand if the efforts to increase student retention had been effective. A sequential mixed methods approach was used for the study and incorporated both descriptive and inferential statistics. The study concludes with an analysis of student persistence rates at a Midwest, two-year public college pre- and post implementation of the GPS course. Results of this study could help identify any gaps in the GPS course or opportunities for improvement in the curriculum or course offerings. This study has implications within continuous improvement efforts related to student retention and persistence by assessing the college's GPS course. The development of a student experience survey for the FYE course could be used in the future as a tool or process to be re-administered to continue to improve the course and reassess its impact on student retention and persistence. The overall findings of the study on the GPS course could be generalized to other public two-year colleges with similar GPS courses.