Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation
Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology, Counseling, and College Student Personnel
Counseling and Personnel Services, PhD
Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)
Science students; Science--Study and teaching (Higher); University of the West Indies
The study explored the relationships between student attributes and institutional experiences associated with re-enrollment status in first-year Caribbean students enrolled in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. The research was conducted during student’s first semester at two campuses of the premier Caribbean university. The nature of academic advising and student’s satisfaction with the advising process, a program perceived in the literature as contributing to student’s persistence and retention, was also explored. This study tested the relevance of Tinto’s (1993) Longitudinal Model of Institutional Departure to the Caribbean tertiary level education system. The study adopted a survey research design and binary logistic regression analysis was used to determine the effects of the independent variables on re-enrollment. The predictor variables included the campus that the student attended as well as student attributes (sex, race/ethnicity, secondary school academic achievement, degree aspiration, parental education, residency status, and financial concerns). Additionally, the institutional experiences predictor variables comprised student interaction with faculty, faculty concern for students, academic and intellectual development, institutional and vii goal commitments, and peer-group interaction as measured by the Institutional Integration Scale (Pascarella & Terenzini, 1980). The binary outcome variable was students ‘intent to re-enroll’ in the university in the second semester. The results indicated that the chances of a first-year student re-enrolling at the Cave Hill campus were greater than the chances of a student re-enrolling at the St. Augustine campus. The significant predictors of re-enrollment status for the second semester were secondary school science and math GPA, parental education, and student’s institutional and goal commitments. Student’s secondary school science and math GPA increases the chances that a student re-enrolls increase. On the other hand, as parental education increases, the probability that a student re-enrolls decreases. Furthermore, student’s institutional and goal commitments are shown to increase the likelihood that a student re-enrolls. The nature of academic advising at both campuses was measured using the Academic Advising Inventory (Winston & Sandor, 2002). The outcomes deemed that the faculty advising approaches at both campuses were more related to prescriptive learning for personalizing education items but developmental advising-teaching for items describing academic decision-making and selecting courses. Students seemed to be dissatisfied with the overall academic advising process. Implications for practice and future research were also considered.
Harewood Cox, Joy A., "Examining the perceptions of first-year STEM students on retention factors at the University of the West Indies." (2015). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 2087.