Date of Award

Fall 11-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Rhonda Bishop

Second Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Third Advisor

Dr. Kathy Grover


The purpose of this study was to determine if retention of first-year college students was influenced by specific variables and programs at one Midwest community college. The study was focused on responses from the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) (Center for Community College Student Engagement, 2013) and peer mentoring program data. Data and retention were measured using Wald chi-square tests and t-tests, respectively. The CCSSE benchmarks were Academic Challenge, Active and Collaborative Learning, Student Effort, Student-Faculty Interactions, and Support for Learners. Benchmarks were analyzed using student variables age, gender, working for pay, student loans, and race/ethnicity. Benchmarks titled Student Effort and Support for Learners had a significant impact on retention. The relevance of this finding became clear through analyzing specific student variables to determine their impact on each specific benchmark. Also investigated were the retention rates of first-time students who participated in the college’s peer mentoring program and first-time students who did not participate in the college’s peer mentoring program. Following analysis of the data, there was a statistical difference in the retention rates of first-year, peer-mentored students and non-peer mentored, first-year students. The peer mentoring program was also studied by analyzing the effects peer mentoring had on students who were on academic probation. No statistically significant difference was found in retention rates of students who remained on academic probation and their peers who had moved off probation. Data for all aspects of peer mentoring suggested program consistency positively affects retention rates of first-year students.


Copyright 2018