Title page for ETD etd-06022005-163534

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Penalber, Eric Lyle
URN etd-06022005-163534
Title The Effectiveness of Student Support Services at a Research Extensive University in the South
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Educational Leadership, Research & Counseling
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Michael F. Burnett Committee Co-Chair
Spencer J. Maxcy Committee Co-Chair
Marietta Del Favero Committee Member
S. Kim MacGregor Committee Member
Jason Hicks Dean's Representative
  • retention
  • student support services
  • graduation rate
Date of Defense 2005-03-31
Availability unrestricted
The primary purpose of this study was to determine the influence of level of participation in services provided by the Student Support Services (SSS) Program on the grade point average, retention, and the six-year graduation rate of first-time entering freshmen who also entered the SSS program at a research extensive university in the South. Participants in the study were one hundred, fifty-two (152) SSS students who entered this university in the fall of 1996 and fall of 1997.

Tinto’s (1987) longitudinal model of institutional departure was used as the conceptual framework for this study. Services provided by the SSS program were examined to determine whether they were academic (formal) and social (informal) and if student participation encouraged integration in the university, thus decreasing the rate of departure among study participants.

Findings indicate that peer mentoring, tutoring, counseling, and study skills training were provided to participants in the study group, and that hours earned and hours carried each semester significantly impacted student grade point averages. The mentoring and study skills services provided by SSS, as well as cumulative hours earned and high school academic grade point averages, influenced student retention for the 5th semester of enrollment. Both sixth and seventh semester retention was positively affected by the cumulative number of hours students had earned prior to the semester under investigation. Results of this study also indicated that those students who successfully earned more credit hours each semester were more likely to continue postsecondary education until they were graduated.

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