Title page for ETD etd-06112014-090853

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Avery, Jared Christian
Author's Email Address javery2@tigers.lsu.edu
URN etd-06112014-090853
Title Examining the Persistence of Students in Academic and Leadership Development Programs
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Educational Theory, Policy, & Practice
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Arbuthnot, Keena Committee Co-Chair
Bourke, Brian Committee Co-Chair
Burnett, Michael Committee Member
Mitchell, Roland Committee Member
Bates, Reid Dean's Representative
  • Black Males
  • Persistence
  • College Student Success
  • Student Engagment
  • Institution-Driven Programs
  • Degree Attainment
Date of Defense 2014-05-12
Availability unrestricted
The study examined whether institution-driven programs improve persistence among Black male student participants. Using modified versions of Tinto’s Student Integration Model (SIM) as the theoretical framework, the researcher hypothesized that participants involved in institution-driven programs would be more connected to the academic and social spaces of the university. In turn, this would lead to improved persistence at the postsecondary level and ultimately degree completion.

Using a questionnaire to assess measures of student persistence, an electronic survey was administered to 475 students at a predominantly White institution in the southeast region of the U.S. For the quasi-experimental research design, Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was used as the primary statistical procedure to determine group differences in academic integration, social integration, perception of campus climate, institutional commitment, and goal commitment between program participants (treatment group) and non-participants (control group). Certain background variables (academic major, family socioeconomic status, and high school demographic type) were also used in the analysis to provide greater depth of insight into the educational experiences of Black male students compared to Black female students, White male students, and White female students. Further, Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient (r) was used to explore the relationship between the level of engagement and the measures of persistence (i.e., academic integrations, social integration, etc.) among the designated study groups.

The findings showed no statistically significant differences between Black male students involved in institution-driven programs and other Black male students, however, differences between Black male institution-driven program participants and the additional comparison groups were found among the various persistence measures. Statistically significant differences in the persistence measures were also found when examining the influence of academic major, socioeconomic status, and high school within the Black male student group, and among the aforementioned comparison groups. Moreover, level of engagement revealed positive correlations for the majority of persistence measures for White male students. However, for Black male students, there was no significant relationship for the majority of measures except social integration. The results of this investigation could aid university administrators and student affairs professionals in better understanding the degree to which these programs empirically impact persistence among Black male students and their collegiate experiences.

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