Date of Award
Doctor of Education
Higher and Adult Education
Barbara Mullins Nelson
The study examined whether 181 academically underprepared, first-time freshmen were found to increase persistence and academic achievement due to the early intervention of a career exploration assessment. Persistence was defined as continuous, active enrollment from Fall 2010 to Fall 2011. Academic achievement was defined as grade point average. The study site was a rural community college located in northwest Tennessee where household poverty was high, educational attainment was low and 70 percent of first-time freshmen had a remedial education need in 2010. Pre-existing characteristics and the level of academic preparedness for each participant were collected. Participants were purposefully sampled by using a college transitions course required of students who test into one or more remedial subject areas. Nine independent variables were collected: gender, race, parent’s education level, enrollment status, age, Holland personality types and the number of prescribed developmental studies courses in mathematics, reading and writing. The sample largely consisted of participants who were enrolled full time and between the ages of 18 and 24. Six hypotheses were proposed. Data were analyzed using one sample t-tests, multiple linear regression, binary logistical regression, eta coefficient, and two-way chi square. Statistically significant increases in persistence and academic achievement were found in the sample when compared to the population of academically underprepared, first-time freshmen from Fall 2009. Gender, race, primary personality type and the number of prescribed developmental studies reading courses were statistically significant variables in predicting persistence. Female Caucasians with a Social primary personality type and no prescribed developmental studies reading courses were most likely to persist from Fall 2010 to Fall 2011. Age, enrollment status, race, gender, and the number of prescribed developmental studies reading courses were statistically significant variables in predicting academic achievement (grade point average). Traditional aged, full-time enrolled, Caucasian, female participants with no prescribed developmental studies reading courses were most likely to demonstrate academic achievement from Fall 2010 to Fall 2011. A statistically significant relationship between Holland personality types and academic achievement was not found. Persisters and non-persisters were not related in a comparison of Holland personality types. Recommendations to increase student exposure to career exploration and for future research were made.
dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.
Littlepage, Ben, "Influence of Early Intervention Career Exploration on Student Persistence" (2012). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 492.