Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.

Department (Legacy)

College of Education and Human Development

Committee Chair

Cuyjet, Michael J.

Author's Keywords

Second-year students; Attrition; Sophomores; Persistence; Retention


College dropouts; Dropout behavior, Prediction of; Prediction of scholastic success


The persistence of second-year college students is gaining attention nationally. Vast resources have been dedicated to the retention of first-year students only to lose them at some point during the second year. Much of the research about the second-year experience is qualitative and focused on institutional inputs. This study examined pre-entry variables that predict second year attrition. The pre-matriculation factors and background characteristics as outlined by Tinto (1993) served as the focus of this study. The participants of this study were first-time, full-time freshmen that attended the University of Louisville 2004 summer orientation, participated in the College Student Inventory Form-B survey, enrolled, and matriculated to the 2004 fall semester at the University of Louisville. The College Student Inventory Form-B data was used to analyze pre-entry levels of motivation, commitment, and selected background variables. A logistic regression model was used to predict the student outcomes of persistence and non-persistence for enrollment in the fourth and fifth semesters, which constituted the second year for traditional, first-time, full-time freshmen. Findings from this study suggest that second-year students have experiences and needs distinct from those of first-year students.