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; College students; First generation; Private college; Experiences; Attrition


College dropouts--Kentucky; Academic achievement--Kentucky; Private universities and colleges--Kentucky


The persistence and attrition of second year college students is a growing concern of colleges and universities as second year college students face some of the greatest challenges (Gahagan & Hunter, 2006; Lemons & Richmond, 1987; Morgan & Davis, 1981; Wilder, 1993). This study examined the factors that predict second year student persistence for students who have enrolled at private institutions in the state of Kentucky. This study reviewed those pre-entry variables that predict persistence beyond the second year. Students were surveyed (during the end of) their fourth semester in college. Spady's (1970b) model of student dropout and Tinto's (1975) model of student departure served as the theoretical foundation for this study. The participants in this study consisted of full-time, second year students who were completing their fourth semester of academic work. This research was a quantitative predictive study that used data collected by administering the Sophomore Experiences Survey via the Internet. This predictive study examined the relationship between predictor variables including pre-college characteristics, scores on the Thriving Quotient in the Sophomore Experiences Survey, and campus experiences and perceptions and the criterion variables of the student's intent to re-enroll after their fourth semester of their second year and intent to graduate from college. Hierarchical logistic regression was used to measure the predictive nature and magnitude of the relationship between the variables in the first five research questions. The sixth and seventh research questions constituted a comparative study. Cross tabulations and chi-square statistics were used to address each of these questions.