Title

Impact of the Student Support Services/TRIO Programming on Persistence and Academic Achievement

Date of Award

2013

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Department

Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Patrick Pauken

Second Advisor

Angela M. Spence Nelson (Committee Member)

Third Advisor

Tyrone Bledsoe (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Mark Earley (Committee Member)

Fifth Advisor

Judy Jackson May (Committee Member)

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine what specific sets of TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) variables predict persistence and academic achievement using Astin's Input-Environment-Outcome (I-E-O) model. The model was employed to investigate the relationship among the following input variables of gender, race, eligibility for program services, and academic need for participation in the SSS program. Four environmental variables consisted of a select set of Bowling Green State University (BGSU) SSS services, namely advising, tutoring, math assistance, and writing assistance. The outcome variables were persistence and academic achievement. The sample for this study consisted of 1122 students who participated in the BGSU SSS program between 2005 through 2011. Logistic regression was applied to the data to examine the effect of the input and environmental variables on persistence and multiple regression was applied to the data to examine the association of the input and environmental variables on academic achievement as defined by grade point average (GPA). Findings suggest that the best-input variables of eligibility (first-generation only, low-income only, and first-generation/low-income) and need (low high school grades and failing grades) were significant in predicting student persistence. The environmental variables advising, tutoring, and assistance in math and writing were not predictors of persistence. However, writing and advising were significant predictors of GPA, with writing having a positive impact on this outcome. The input variables of gender and need were also significant predictors of academic achievement. Female students who persisted had a higher GPA than males. Students who entered the program because of failing grades and low high school grades had lower GPA than students with other levels of need. The overall models did not provide a substantial fit to predict persistence or academic achievement. Although this study provides some guidance as to which BGSU TRIO factors contribute to the outcomes of first-generation and low-income students, considerations for greater programming efforts, increased partnerships, and a review of organizational policies is presented. Recommendations for future research to gain a greater understanding of the myriad characteristics and experiences of first-generation and low-income students, the changing environment of higher education and the impact on students are offered.