Psychology Student Success in College
by
John H. Schuh
  • LAST MODIFIED: 26 May 2023
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199828340-0234

Introduction

There are at least two dimensions of student success that have been explored widely in numerous studies. One dimension is that student success in college is defined as students’ achieving their goals upon embarking on their college career. Completing academic degree programs such as bachelor’s degrees, graduate degrees, or professional degrees (e.g., M.D., J.D., and so on) satisfactorily is a common characterization of student success. But not all students define success as completing a degree. Some students, for example, attend college with the goal of determining whether or not a baccalaureate degree program will help them achieve their educational or career goals. Accordingly, they enroll in college-level courses to determine if their educational goals can be met by completing a degree. Some students are enrolled in multiple institutions simultaneously, or they transfer from one institution to another, commonly known as swirling, to achieve their goals for their college experience. Another dimension of student success that has been widely studied has to do with what colleges and universities can do to provide an environment and develop programs and support so that students can achieve their goals for their college experience. This can be a combination of crafting an institutional environment that values and supports student success through a wide variety of messages, programs, and policies that, taken in the aggregate, communicate that it highly values student success and will do everything possible to help students succeed. The terms “persistence” and “retention” often are used synonymously, but for the purpose of this discussion, persistence refers to what students can do to achieve success, while retention is what institutions can do to help students achieve their educational goals. Programs, experiences, strategies, and other initiatives included in this discussion do not necessarily stand alone. That is, often they are complementary and have an effect on each other. There is considerable overlap in the topics considered in this article and in the Oxford Bibliographies in Education article Student Engagement in Tertiary Education because student engagement often is considered as a means by which success in college is achieved. In identifying and describing sources that address student success in college, the approach taken in this article is to consider the topic from the perspective of what institutions can do to facilitate student success and what students can do to achieve their educational goals. Many of the studies cited in this bibliography may be replicated in the future, perhaps with different methodological designs and most certainly with other groups of students. This edition of the bibliography has been designed to update the previous iteration, but it also has two additional emphases. The previous bibliography nearly exclusively focused on four-year institutions to the exclusion of community colleges and other two-year institutions. That was an oversight. IPEDS data indicate that while 10,938,123 undergraduate students were enrolled in four-year institutions in 2020, 4,913,783 were enrolled in two-year institutions (National Center for Education Statistics, Report on the Condition of Education 2022 [Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics, 2022]). The extent to which these students are successful in their educational endeavors is of great interest to higher education scholars, so many more citations are included related to students enrolled in two-year institutions than in the previous version. The other emphasis in this iteration is a natural progression in research on student success. In recent years researchers have taken a more nuanced view of programs and experiences designed to foster student success. For example, it has been widely asserted that first-year seminars provide an enriched experience for students leading to their persistence from year one to year two, and, accordingly, they have been part of the educational portfolio of many colleges and universities. Researchers, however, have parsed the focus of such seminars and have found that some first-year seminars have been more successful than others, depending on their focus. For example, those that are an extended form of orientation are not as potent as those that have an academic focus. Consequently, simply offering first-year seminars may not result in student success unless they have an academic focus. The same is true for a number of other experiences, meaning that simply having the experience available is not enough to enhance success. The results of studies related to the nuances of student experiences are reported with increasing frequency in the literature and a number of such studies are included in this bibliography.

Books Related to Student Success

Historical and foundational books are identified, since they provide a basis for additional inquiry into the subject of student success. Other books explain how institutions of higher education function through a discussion of organizational theory, leadership theory, or both. Also identified are books that discuss student development theory and that describe how students learn and develop in higher education. A number of books include detailed descriptions and analyses of factors and conditions that support and encourage students as they strive to achieve their educational goals. Several books that are focused on facilitating the success of historically underserved populations of students are also identified.

Historical and Foundational Overviews

The experiences of college students have been studied for decades. Dennis and Kauffman 1966 provides a historical marker identifying issues from the time of its publication. Among the early investigations of the effects (outcomes) of college on students are Pace 1941, which studies a group of students who matriculated at the University of Minnesota in the 1920s; Feldman and Newcomb 1969, which measures the impact of college on students in terms of attitudinal change; Pace 1979, which reports on the effects of the college experience on college graduates over fifty years; and Astin 1977, which identifies how various experiences affect student attitudes, opinions, and development. Astin, perhaps the most important investigator of the college student experience in history, focused much of his work on how institutions and students could make the most of the college experience, as shown in Astin 1975 and Astin 1985. Pascarella and Terenzini 1991 provides an analysis of 2,600 studies on the effects of college on students. Pascarella and Terenzini 2005 is an updated version of Pascarella and Terenzini 1991 and analyzes studies conducted from 1990 through the beginning of the twenty-first century. Mayhew, et al. 2016 provides a contemporary analysis of research on college students conducted from 2002 through 2013.

  • Astin, Alexander W. 1975. Preventing students from dropping out. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    Based on a nationwide study, this volume identifies and discusses factors and conditions that lead to students dropping out of college or achieving their educational goals.

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  • Astin, Alexander W. 1977. Four critical years. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    Reports on the author’s analysis of various student experiences and the extent to which they contribute to student success. This study served as the foundation for numerous follow-up studies.

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  • Astin, Alexander W. 1985. Achieving educational excellence. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    The author develops his construct of involvement and how the extent to which students are involved in their education leads to success. Develops in detail five postulates of involvement. The work is considered a classic, perhaps the most important work ever written on the topic of student success, and it has led to many research studies.

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  • Dennis, Lawrence E., and Joseph F. Kauffman, eds. 1966. The college and the student: An assessment of relationships and responsibilities in undergraduate education by administrators, faculty members, and public officials. Washington, DC: American Council on Education.

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    This book is a collection of papers, many of which were presented at the 1965 meeting of the American Council on Education. It provides a historical marker of the issues facing higher education institutions and students at the time of its publication.

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  • Feldman, Kenneth A., and Theodore M. Newcomb. 1969. The impact of college on students. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    Considered to be the foundational study on this topic, this is a highly valued historical piece that set the stage for numerous follow-up studies. Updated and re-released by Transaction Publications in 1994.

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  • Mayhew, Matthew J., Alyssa Rockenbach, Nicholas A. Bowman, and Tricia A. D. Seifert, with Ernest T. Pascarella and Patrick T. Terenzini (contributors). 2016. How college affects students. Vol. 3, 21st century evidence that higher education works. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    Updates Volume 2 and provides a fresh look at how college affects students in terms of their learning and achievement. It expands on the concept of “college” and addresses issues related to the technological revolution in terms of how educational experiences are delivered. Essential reading for the study of student success in college.

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  • Pace, C. Robert. 1941. They went to college. Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press.

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    Presents a study of 951 students. Includes analyses of their family life, their earnings, their civic lives, and what can be learned from them.

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  • Pace, C. Robert. 1979. Measuring the outcomes of college: Fifty years of findings and recommendations for the future. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    Includes results of nearly fifty years of studies on the college student experience, including experiences during college and experiences after college. Also includes recommendations for practice.

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  • Pascarella, Ernest T., and Patrick T. Terenzini. 1991. How college affects students: Findings and insights from twenty years of research. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    Follow-up study on Feldman and Newcomb 1969; provides a review of 2,600 studies. Chapters 12 and 13 are especially valuable for the reader interested in student success in college.

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  • Pascarella, Ernest T., and Patrick T. Terenzini. 2005. How college affects students. Vol. 2, A third decade of research. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    Updates Pascarella and Terenzini 1991 by analyzing studies that had been conducted since 1991. Chapters 10 and 11 are especially valuable for the person interested in learning more about student success in college.

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Student Development Theory

This section identifies three books that provide an overview of student development theory, defined as understanding how students learn and grow. Abes, et al. 2019 presents what the authors term as a third wave of student development theories. Evans, et al. 2010 provides an overview of a wide range of theories that can be explored in depth depending on the needs and interest of the reader. Jones and Abes 2013 focuses on the identity development of college students, conceptualizing how students learn and grow in college. Patton, et al. 2016 updates Evans, et al. 2010 with an emphasis on social identity theories and faith and spirituality development theories.

  • Abes, Elisa S., Susan R. Jones, and D-L Stewart, eds. 2019. Rethinking college student development using critical frameworks. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

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    This edited volume includes a discussion of a wide range of student development theories and employs a series of guest chapter authors. The theories explored include critical race theory, critical feminist theories, indigenous paradigms, queer theory, crip theory, black feminist theory. Implications for student affairs practice are described, including student involvement and engagement, principles of good practice in student affairs, and high-impact practices.

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  • Evans, Nancy J., Deanna S. Forney, Florence M. Guido, Lori D. Patton, and Kristen A. Renn. 2010. Student development in college: Theory, research, and practice. 2d ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    This second edition includes new theories and an updated treatment of previously existing theories. It is an extremely comprehensive treatment of the topic and very valuable in facilitating student success.

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  • Jones, Susan R., and Elisa A. Abes. 2013. Identity development of college students: Advancing frameworks for multiple dimensions of identity. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    Understanding the identity development of students is fundamental to developing programs, services, and interventions designed to help them achieve their educational goals. Particularly valuable is chapter 9, which provides suggestions, ideas, and recommendations for applying developmental strategies in educational contexts and for research purposes.

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  • Patton, Lori D., Kristen A. Renn, Florence M. Guido, and Stephen John Quaye. 2016. Student development in college. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    Provides an update of Evans, et al. 2010, including the introduction of theories not discussed in the 2010 volume. Social identity theories, racial identity theories, sexual identity theories, gender identity development theories, and faith and spirituality theories are among the theories discussed in detail in this volume

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Student Retention

This section includes books that provide an overview of student success, and how programs, services, and experiences can be conceptualized and delivered to enhance student success in higher education. Tinto 1987 is a landmark study that has been refined and updated several times in the forms of Tinto 1994 and Tinto 2012. The author identifies two general categories of issues that contribute to the extent to which students achieve their goals, including their ability to address academic challenges and adjust to their social environment. Other works in this section refine Tinto’s work and build on his theory and findings. Braxton, et al. 2014 examines student retention with institutional type as an important variable, and Habley, et al. 2012 identifies core components of student success and provides recommendations for practice, as does Kalsbeek 2013, which builds on four elements of a retention framework. Seidman 2005 provides a comprehensive approach to addressing student success.

Organizational Improvement

Institutions of higher education have an obligation to provide as rich an organizational environment as possible to facilitate student success. How they develop programs, practices, policies, and experiences for students will influence the ability of students to achieve their goals for matriculation. While the books that follow also focus on what students can do to enhance their experiences, these books provide excellent ideas and suggestions for colleges and universities. Arum, et al. 2016 focuses on learning outcomes for specific disciplines. Astin 1993 is a comprehensive approach to how students are affected by their college experience. Hossler, et al. 2015 is a thorough discussion of enrollment management, including chapters on student persistence, retention, and success. Kuh, et al. 2016; Kuh, et al. 2010; and Kuh and Schuh 1991 discuss empirically based analyses of what institutions can do to foster student success. Renn and Reason 2013 discusses the experiences of college students and includes chapters on retention, persistence, and student outcomes.

  • Arum, Richard, Josipka Roska, and Amanda Cook, eds. 2016. Improving quality in American higher education: Learning outcomes and assessments for the 21st century. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    Reports the results of the Measuring College Learning Project sponsored by the Social Science Research Council. Focuses on discipline-specific learning outcomes and includes recommendations for practice.

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  • Astin, Alexander W. 1993. What matters in college? Four critical years revisited. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    This volume is an update of the 1985 book that provides an excellent foundation to understanding the student experience. It should be read by anyone who wishes to study college students, since it is an exhaustive study that provides fundamental information on the factors and conditions that contribute to or detract from students’ achieving their educational goals along with effective educational practices.

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  • Hossler, Don, Bob Bontrager, and Lauryn Tom. 2015. Handbook of strategic enrollment management. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    Compendium of chapters that focus on developing enrollment strategies, implementing enrollment management strategies, and determining the success of various initiatives designed to support success. Chapters 13 through 18 are focused on student success initiatives.

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  • Kuh, George D., Stanley O. Ikenberry, Natasha A. Jankowski, et al. 2016. Using evidence of student learning to improve higher education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    The authors advocate making use of student learning outcomes assessment data to improve the experiences of college students, and to meet the needs of the institution in which they are enrolled. Includes recommendations for practice.

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  • Kuh, George D., Jillian Kinzie, John H. Schuh, and Elizabeth J. Whitt. 2010. Student success in college: Creating conditions that matter. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    This volume is a report of a mixed-methods study of twenty institutions in the United States that had higher-than-predicted graduation rates. Recommendations for organizational improvement are included. Programs, services, and initiatives are distilled and explained. Provides implications for practice. First published in 2005.

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  • Kuh, George D., John H. Schuh, and Elizabeth J. Whitt. 1991. Involving colleges: Successful approaches to fostering student learning and development outside the classroom. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    Reports on a study of fourteen colleges and universities that are well known for high-quality out-of-class experiences for students. Includes recommendations for practice and assessment strategies.

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  • Kuh, George D., and John H. Schuh, eds. 1991. The role & contribution of student affairs in involving colleges. Washington, DC: National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.

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    Includes nine case studies of institutions reported to have high-quality out-of-class experiences designed to facilitate student success. Provides commentaries on each chapter and discusses recommendations for practice.

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  • Renn, Kristen A., and Robert D. Reason. 2013. College students in the United States: Characteristics, experiences and outcomes. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    This volume includes a description of college student enrolled in higher education in the United States and the challenges they face in transitioning to college. Chapters 8 and 9 discuss retention, persistence, and outcomes related to the student experience.

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Facilitating the Success of Historically Underserved and At-Risk Students

Of increasing interest to educators is how to facilitate and strengthen the learning outcomes and graduation rates of historically underserved students. Crawley 2012 provides an analysis of how to improve the learning outcomes of students who study using electronic media. Leibowitz, et al. 2009 examines the experiences of first-year students and provides recommendations for practice using a South African perspective, as does Strydom, et al. 2017. Núñez, et al. 2013 looks at the unique challenges faced by Latino and Latina students. Quaye, et al. 2020 provides a comprehensive overview of improving student success for historically underserved students. Feldman 2005 and Upcraft, et al. 2005 provide recommendations and strategies that institutions might employ to assist in the first-year student adjustment process. Smith 2013 introduces a mentoring model based on a qualitative study for underrepresented students.

  • Crawley, Anita. 2012. Supporting online students. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    An underserved segment of the population of college students includes those who study online. The author describes who these students are and then presents programs, initiatives, and interventions designed to help them achieve their educational goals.

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  • Feldman, Robert S., ed. 2005. Improving the first year of college. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

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    Focusing on first-year experiences of college students, this book examines such factors as institutional diversity, learning communities, and technology on student success. Focuses on methods of assessing the effectiveness of programs.

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  • Leibowitz, Brenda, Antoinette Van Der Merwe, and Susan Van Schalkwyk, eds. 2009. Focus on first-year success: Perspectives emerging from South Africa and beyond. Stellenbosch, South Africa: Sun Media.

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    Discusses strategies and programs designed to facilitate the success of first-year students with a focus on South Africa. Identifies constitutional initiatives and interventions. Includes eight case studies from a range of academic disciplines.

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  • Núñez, Anne-Marie, Richard E. Hoover, Kellie Pickett, Christine Stuart-Carruthers, and Maria Vazquez. 2013. Latinos in higher education and Hispanic-serving institutions: Creating conditions for success. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

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    Latino and Latina students, a growing number of students enrolled in higher education, face unique challenges as they participate in higher education. The authors describe the challenges these students face and examine mainstream as well as culturally responsive approaches to help them achieve their educational goals.

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  • Quaye, Stephen John, Shaun R. Harper, and Sumun L. Pendakur, eds. 2020. Student engagement in higher education: Theoretical perspectives and practical approaches for diverse populations. 3d ed. New York: Taylor & Francis.

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    Third edition of a 2009 publication that focuses on student engagement in college with a special emphasis on historically underserved students. Identifies high-impact practices.

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  • Smith, Buffy. 2013. Mentoring at-risk students through the hidden curriculum of higher education. New York: Lexington.

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    Some students admitted to college are at risk for a variety of reasons. Institutional cultures and social networks, according to the author, can affect the academic success of underrepresented students. The author focuses on mentoring programs as a strategy to serve students and help them achieve their educational goals.

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  • Strydom, Francois, George Kuh, and Sonja Loots. 2017. Engaging students: Using evidence to promote student success. Bloemfontein, South Africa: Sun Press.

    DOI: 10.18820/9781928424093Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Students’ failure to achieve their academic goals is of major concern to educators in South Africa. This work analyzes higher education in South Africa and diagnoses reasons for the disappointing graduation rates at many South African universities. Its major elements include a report on student engagement in South Africa, recommendations for how institutions can create conditions for student success, and a focus on student success in the classroom.

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  • Upcraft, M. Lee, John N. Gardner, and Betsy Barefoot. 2005. Challenging & supporting the first-year student: A handbook for improving the first year of college. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    This book is focused on the experiences of first-year college students and provides strategies and programs designed to help first-year students achieve their educational goals. It also presents approaches for determining the success of first-year programs and initiatives.

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Leadership in Higher Education

Programs, initiatives, and experiences need to be crafted to provide opportunities that facilitate student success. In this section, books are identified that provide strategies designed to facilitate student success. Bess and Dee 2012 is a detailed examination of how colleges and universities are organized. Davis, et al. 2022 provides two cases that illustrate the role of community college presidents in enhancing student success. Manning, et al. 2014 provides models for organizing student affairs. Taylor 2022 reports on various institutional leaders’ perspectives on student success. Manning 2013 provides an excellent discussion of organizational theory as it applies to higher education. Wheeler 2012 discusses using leadership theory to advance institutions.

  • Bess, James L., and R. Jay Dee. 2012. Understanding college and university organization: Theories for effective policy and practice. 2 vols. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

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    These two volumes provide an exhaustive discussion of leadership theories and include case studies and discussion questions. They are very useful in understanding a wide range of factors related to leading colleges and universities and developing a framework for establishing programs related to student success. Chapter 11 on organizational cultures is especially useful.

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  • Davis, Jemilia S, Andrea L. DeSantis, and Audrey J. Jaeger. 2022. The strategic role of community college presidents in activating student success outcomes. In Expanding community college opportunities: Access, transfer and completion. Edited by Carol Cutler White and Ashley B. Clayton, 149–159. New Directions for Community Colleges 198. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    The key role of community college presidents in providing professional development opportunities centered on student success is described. Two cases are introduced to provide a foundation for the chapter. Lessons learned and recommendations for practice to improve student success are described.

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  • Manning, Kathleen. 2013. Organizational theory in higher education. New York: Routledge.

    DOI: 10.4324/9780203836750Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Is an excellent overview of theories applied to organizational leadership and is useful for those who lead programs and other initiatives targeted at student success. Table 1.3 is especially helpful for understanding various aspects of organizational theory.

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  • Manning, Kathleen M., Jillian Kinzie, and John H. Schuh. 2014. One size does not fit all: Traditional and innovative models of student affairs practice. New York: Routledge.

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    Links the organization of divisions of student affairs to institutional mission and provides suggestions for how student success can be crafted as a consequence of institutional mission.

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  • Taylor, Leonard D. 2022. Toil and trouble: Contextualizing student success work at research universities. Journal of Higher Education 93.4: 622–650.

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    This study reports on the experiences and perspectives of sixteen administrators, faculty, and staff responsible for student success at research universities. Seven characteristics of the US student success enterprise are provided. The author concludes that “the enactment of student success is a complex social process, wherein structures, cultures and people interact to advance student success goals” (p. 642). Attention should be devoted, in the author’s view, to considering how environments impede student success practices and to empowering and supporting institutional actors as they work to enable students to succeed.

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  • Wheeler, Daniel. 2012. Servant leadership for higher education: Principles and practices. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    Provides a detailed discussion of servant leadership that, when applied to institutions of higher education, will help students achieve their educational goals.

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Effective Practices

This section and the subsections that follow include sources related to how students and institutions can develop experiences and programs that will enhance student success. Most of the recommendations have a positive influence on student success, but some do not. For students and institutions, it is important to know if experiences and programs have the potential for success or if success is doubtful; institutions and students can devote their time to those that are more likely to enhance student success. The concept of high-impact practices (HIPs) related to student success is introduced in Kuh, et al. 2010 (cited under Organizational Improvement). Bowman, et al. 2019 examines the relationship between non-cognitive variables and student success. Broido and Schreiber 2016 provides an international view of student learning and development. Campbell 2018 explores the concept of rigor in the framework of challenge and support and provides implications for institutional policies and practice related to student persistence. Dean 2015 provides an understanding of the value of co-curricular learning and its contribution to student success. Ismail and Groccia 2022 asserts that active engagement leads to a variety of positive outcomes related to student success. Johnson and Stage 2018 questions the influence of high-impact practices on graduation rates. Loes, et al. 2017 asserts that collaborate learning positively influences persistence from year one to year two for college students. Kuh 2008 describes high-impact practices for student success, and Kuh 2013 introduces additional cases for analysis of HIPs. Kuh 2009 is based on Kuh, et al. 2010 (cited under Organizational Improvement). Schroeder 2013 emphasizes identifying pathways that students can follow so that they are successful and illustrates them through additional case studies. Mu and Fosnacht 2019 describes how academic advising can facilitate student success. Seifert, et al. 2014 cautions that the potency of student success programs will be influenced by the characteristics of the students who participate in them. Schreiner, et al. 2020 provides examples based on research that facilitate student success. Schroeder 2013 provides examples of what works in enhancing student success. Simonsmeier, et al. 2020 focuses on peer-based feedback on students’ academic self-concept. Tucker, et al. 2020 reports on the effect of peer mentors on student success. Webber, et al. 2013 identifies specific experiences that facilitate student success. Wawrzynski and Baldwin 2014 explores the concept of student success in South Africa, with findings similar to studies conducted in the United States. Yee 2016 examines the role of social class, asserting that middle-class students are more likely to interact with other students and faculty, while lower-class students are less likely to do so. Zilvinskis, et al. 2022 provide examples of the implementation of high-impact practices designed to enhance retention and graduation rates.

  • Bowman, Nicholas A., Annette Miller, Sherry Woosley, S. Nicholas P. Maxwell, and Mary Jo Kolze. 2019. Understanding the link between noncognitive attributes and college retention. Research in Higher Education 60.2: 135–152.

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    This study included a multi-institutional sample of 10,622 students focusing on academic self-efficacy, academic grit self-discipline, and time management. Noncognitive experiences have the potential to influence both social and academic outcomes according to the study, which also provides evidence regarding the association between noncognitive attributes and retention. Noncognitive variables are strongly and positively associated with retention.

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  • Broido, Ellen, and Birgit Schreiber. 2016. Promoting student learning and development. In Enhancing student learning and development in cross-border higher education. Edited by Dennis C. Roberts and Susan R. Komives, 65–74. New Directions for Higher Education 175. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    The ways in which student learning and development are similar and divergent across national and social contexts are the foci of this chapter. A social justice perspective is utilized to frame the chapter. Describes several student development theories.

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  • Campbell, Corbin M., ed. 2018. Reframing rigor: New understandings for equity and student success. New Directions for Higher Education 181. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    Corbin asserts “…rigor may only be important to educators if, in fact, students engage in the challenge, see the challenge as meaningful, and succeed in the challenge” (p. 6). Conceptions of rigor are introduced, challenge and support in undergraduate learning experiences are examined, and rigor as related to college student persistence with implications for institutional policy and practice are described. Future directions for rigor are explored.

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  • Dean, Kathleen Lis. 2015. Understanding student success by measuring co-curricular learning. In Measuring cocurricular learning: The role of the IR office. Edited by Lance C. Kennedy-Phillips, Angela Baldasare, and Michael N. Christakis, 27–38. New Directions for Institutional Research 164. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    This study reports on the value of the co-curriculum, i.e., the experiences of students outside their formal academic program in such outcomes as postgraduate success. Provides implications for institutional research offices and recommendations for practice.

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  • Ismail, Emad A., and James E. Groccia. 2022. Students engaged in learning. In The impact of community on teaching and learning: Lessons from before and after COVID. Edited by Catherine M. Wehlburg, 31–38. New Directions for Teaching and Learning 170. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    Active engagement, according to the authors, can significantly improve student cognitive, psychomotor, and affective skill development. Engaging in learning, in their opinion, helps students acquire real-life experience, enhances their social and interpersonal skills, improves their attitudes toward learning and academic discipline, and improves their general satisfaction with their higher learning experience.

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  • Johnson, Sarah Randall, and Frances King Stage. 2018. Academic engagement and student success: Do high-impact practices mean higher graduation rates? Journal of Higher Education 89.5: 753–781.

    DOI: 10.1080/00221546.2018.1441107Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This study of data from ten institutions concluded that high-impact practices may not lead to increased graduation rates. Among the high-impact practices studied were freshman seminars, core curricula, learning communities, writing courses, collaborative assignments, undergraduate research, study abroad, service learning, internships, and senior/capstone projects. The quantity of practices offered on these campuses were not related to graduation rates. The authors conclude that curricular requirements are not enough to ensure that students complete their college degrees on time.

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  • Kuh, George D. 2008. High-impact educational practices: What they are, who has access to them, and why they matter. Washington, DC: American Association of Colleges and Universities.

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    Kuh identifies high-impact practices that enhance student persistence and success based on extensive research. They include capstone courses and projects, collaborative assignments and projects, common intellectual experiences, diversity and global learning, e-portfolios, first-year seminars and experiences, internships, learning communities, service learning and community-based learning, undergraduate research, and writing intensive courses.

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  • Kuh, George D. 2009. What student affairs professionals need to know about student engagement. Journal of College Student Development 50.6: 683–706.

    DOI: 10.1353/csd.0.0099Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article summarizes important findings from various studies related to student engagement and reports on the implications for student success. Since this article is considered a classic, it is included in this list even though it was published in 2009. The author asserts that engagement will increase the chances that any student will attain his or her educational objectives. Provides recommendations for practice.

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  • Kuh, George D. 2013. Promise in action: Examples of institutional success. In Reframing retention strategy for institutional improvement. Edited by David Kalsbeek, 81–90. New Directions for Higher Education 161. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    This report describes three institutions that deliver what they promise to incoming students and also HIPs that lead to high student scores on the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) engagement measures. Recommends systematically framing programs as well as practices and policies by the institution’s mission.

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  • Loes, Chad N., Brian P. An, Kem Saichaie, and Ernest T. Pascarella. 2017. Does collaborative learning influence persistence to the second year of college? Journal of Higher Education 88.1: 62–84.

    DOI: 10.1080/00221546.2016.1243942Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This study examines if collaborative learning influences persistence to the second year for a study of over 2,900 students enrolled at nineteen institutions. Students with high levels of collaborative learning were more likely to enroll in their second year of college than students with low levels of collaborative learning. This effect did not differ by race, gender, or ACT scores. Exposure to collaborative learning leads to greater levels of positive peer interaction, which leads to increased odds of persisting to the second year of college, according to this study.

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  • Mu, Lanlan, and Kevin Fosnacht. 2019. Effective advising: How academic advising influences student learning outcomes in different institutional contexts. Review of Higher Education 42.4: 1283–1307.

    DOI: 10.1353/rhe.2019.0066Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Survey data were collected from 156 bachelor’s degree granting institutions using the National Survey of Student Engagement. Dependent variables were seniors’ self-reported grades and self-perceived gains. Student experiences with advising were the independent variables. Student meetings with advisors had a positive relationship with student outcomes, including student grades, student perceptions of academic quality. Advising information played an indirect, positive role in students’ learning and development.

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  • Schreiner, Laurie A., Michelle C. Louis, and Denise D. Nelson, eds. 2020. Thriving in transitions: A research-based approach to college student success. 2d ed. Columbia: Univ. of South Carolina Press.

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    This edited volume is centered on six research studies describing the characteristics of different groups of students. Each chapter provides research on students thriving during a specific type of transition, including first-year experiences, students of color, sophomores, and transfers. Recommendations for practice are provided, including establishment of a culture focused on student success.

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  • Schroeder, Charles C. 2013. Process and progress in action: Examples of what works. In Reframing retention strategy for institutional improvement. Edited by David Kalsbeek, 71–80. New Directions for Higher Education 161. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    Discusses improving student success through high-quality institutional services and fostering student progress through process improvement. Identifies clear pathways to student success.

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  • Seifert, Tricia A., Benjamin Gillig, Jana M. Hanson, Ernest T. Pascarella, and Charles F. Blaich. 2014. The conditional nature of high impact/good practices on student learning outcomes. Journal of Higher Education 85.4: 531–564.

    DOI: 10.1353/jhe.2014.0019Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This study offers a nuanced approach to the efficacy of HIPs and effective reasoning, problem solving, and inclination to inquire and lifelong learning. The authors recommend that conditional effects be tested as part of studies that examine how students experience and engage in college. For example, the students who engage in undergraduate research typically are the best and brightest. Those who might benefit most from the experience are the least likely to be invited to be part of a research team.

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  • Simonsmeier, Bianca A., Henrike Peiffer, Maja Flaig, and Michael Schneider. 2020. Peer feedback improves students’ academic self-concept in higher education. Research in Higher Education 61.6: 706–724.

    DOI: 10.1007/s11162-020-09591-ySave Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This study focuses on a learning experience in which forty-nine students acted as authors and reviewers in a psychology class. The effect of peer-based feedback of academic self-concept was the focus of the study, whereas the effects of peer feedback previously had focused on other academic outcomes. The study found that peer feedback enhanced not only achievement but also intrapersonal competencies, such as academic self-beliefs in higher education.

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  • Tucker, Kathryn, Gwen Sharp, Shi Qingmin, Tony Scinta, and Sandip Thanki. 2020. Fostering historically underserved students’ success: An embedded peer support model that merges non-cognitive principles with proven academic support practices. Review of Higher Education 43.3: 861–885.

    DOI: 10.1353/rhe.2020.0010Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Peer mentors have been shown to have a positive effect on students’ academic achievement. This study examined peer support on academic and noncognitive principles with a special focus on students’ race/ethnicity, Pell eligibility, and first-generation status. The study was conducted at Nevada State College, a nonresidential institution of roughly 5,000 students. Trained student course assistants (CAs) served as peer mentors and tutors. Students who enrolled in at least one course with a CA did significantly better than those who did not with respect to academic standing, grade point average, and one-term retention.

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  • Wawrzynski, Matthew, and Roger Baldwin. 2014. Promoting high-impact student learning: Connecting key components of the collegiate experience. In Connecting learning across the institution. Edited by Pamela Eddy, 51–62. New Directions for Higher Education 165. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    The authors advocate mapping the collegiate environment and then identify conditions that promote student learning. Reports high-impact educational practices. A case analysis of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University is included as an example of faculty and staff complementing each other’s efforts to promote student learning.

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  • Webber, Karen L., Rebecca B. Krylow, and Qin Zhang. 2013. Does involvement really matter? Indicators of college student success and satisfaction. Journal of College Student Development 54.6: 591–611.

    DOI: 10.1353/csd.2013.0090Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The study examines involvement in the student experience and desired outcomes, such as satisfaction and academic grades. Students who devoted more time to studying, engaging in interactions with faculty, and performing community service reported higher satisfaction than students who were less involved. Higher levels of engagement in numerous activities contribute to a higher grade point average and higher perceived satisfaction with a student’s entire academic career.

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  • Yee, April. 2016. The unwritten rules of engagement: Social class differences in undergraduates’ academic strategies. Journal of Higher Education 87.6: 831–858.

    DOI: 10.1080/00221546.2016.11780889Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Social class and the implied resources and strategies for students assist in the successful completion of a college degree program. This qualitative study investigated those strategies and compared how students from different social classes academically engage in college. Middle-class students tended to interact with others, including faculty, while first-generation students tended to rely on themselves. Includes implications for practice.

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  • Zilvinskis, John, Jillian Kinzie, Jerr Daday, Ken O’Donnell, and Carleen Vande Zande, eds. 2022. Delivering on the promise of high-impact practices: Research and models for achieving equity, fidelity, impact, and scale. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

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    The goal of this volume, in the authors’ words, is to provide examples from around the country of how educators are advancing equity, promoting fidelity, achieving scale, and strengthening access to their high-impact practices. Examples of high-impact practices are first-year seminars, writing intensive courses, learning communities, service-learning, undergraduate research, internships, and senior culminating experiences. Such practices are designed to enhance retention and graduation rates.

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Conditions of Student Participation That Affect Success

Institutions can control some factors that facilitate student success, while in other situations they have virtually no control over factors that contribute to student success. Erck and Sriram 2022 looks at how the degree to which students of color thrive is affected by selected interactions with faculty. Ivanova and Moretti 2018 concludes that depth of involvement is more potent than breadth of involvement in academic success. Ginder, et al. 2017 provides an overview of persistence. Inkelas, et al. 2018 focuses on effective living learning communities that are successful in promoting student success. Kezar, et al. 2022 finds that a hub of innovation was able to improve persistence and graduation rates. Kinzie and Hurtado 2017 advocates using data to increase student success in college. Miller 2013 describes institutional practices that help students succeed in transferring from two-year to four-year institutions. Porchea, et al. 2010 addresses transfer success and identifies factors that contribute to students’ achieving their educational goals. Pistilli 2017 (cited under Measuring Student Outcomes) identifies how learner analytics can be employed to facilitate student learning improvement. Sanderson, et al. 2018 reports on links between campus recreation and academic success.

  • Erck, Ryan W., and Rishi Sriram. 2022. Connecting on campus: Exploring how different interactions predict thriving for college students of color. Journal of College Student Development 63.5: 555–571.

    DOI: 10.1353/csd.2022.0047Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The purpose of this study was to develop and validate a model for understanding how thriving for students of color is influenced by academic, social, and deeper life interactions with faculty, staff, and peers. Thriving has three domains, including academic engagement and performance, interpersonal relationships, and intrapersonal well-being. Data were collected from students who were members of living learning communities at eight large research universities. The resulting sample included 279 students of color. The authors recommended that faculty and administrators explore creative ways to promote deeper life interactions with students of color during office hours, that peer connections be expanded for students of color through organized peer networks, and that holistic measures of success, such as thriving, be incorporated into assessment initiatives that center on the experiences of students of color.

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  • Ginder, Scott A., Janice E. Kelly-Reid, and Farrah B. Mann. 2017. Graduation rates for selected cohorts, 2008–13; Outcome measures for cohort year 2008; Student financial aid, academic year 2015–16; and admissions in postsecondary institutions, Fall 2016: First look (provisional data). NCES 2017-150rev. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.

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    This report examines graduation rates, student financial aid, admission information, and outcome measures using IPEDS (Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System) data.

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  • Inkelas, Karen Kurotsuchi, Jody E. Jessup-Anger, Mimi Benjamin, and Matthew R. Wawrzynski. 2018. Living-learning communities that work: A research-based model for design, delivery, and assessment. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

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    Living learning communities have been identified as a high-impact practice in promoting student success. This book provides a comprehensive treatment of the concept of living learning communities, an approach that has been adopted widely in colleges and universities to promote student success. The book includes best practices for living learning communities, essential components of living learning communities, and the structures and costs of living learning communities. This volume emphasizes strategies for assessing the effectiveness of living learning communities and the outcomes for students from historically underserved populations who participation in living learning communities.

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  • Ivanova, Albena, and Anthony Moretti. 2018. Impact of depth and breadth of student involvement on academic achievement. Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice 55.2: 181–195.

    DOI: 10.1080/19496591.2017.1358637Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This study focused on the relationship between breadth and depth of student involvement on academic achievement through a review of 475 student engagement transcripts. Depth of involvement had more impact on grade point average than breadth of involvement. The authors concluded that doing more is not equal to doing better, in that what matters is the focus and depth of their involvement.

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  • Kezar, Adrianna, Rosemary J. Perez, and Elise Swanson. 2022. The potential of and mechanisms for a hub of innovation on campus to support changes for low-income, first generation, and racially minoritized college students. Research in Higher Education 63.7: 1237–1260.

    DOI: 10.1007/s11162-022-09690-ySave Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This study examines the efficacy of a hub of innovation, designed to serve at-promise students. The scholarship component of the program indicated that it was able to produce markedly improved persistence and graduation rates and also produced a set of psychosocial outcomes that were associated with college success. These outcomes included a sense of belonging and a sense of academic self-efficacy.

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  • Kinzie, Jillian, and Sarah Hurtado. 2017. Taking advantage of student engagement results in student affairs. In Using data-informed decision-making to improve student affairs practice. Edited by Kathleen M. Goodman and Darnell Cole, 35–46. New Directions for Student Services 159. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    Engagement and success are defined with a special emphasis on two dimensions of engagement: The time and effort student put into their academic work and their activities and how institutions allocate their resources to encourage students to participate in and benefit from their experiences. Using evidence is central to increasing student success in college. Student affairs practitioners, in the authors’ view, are encouraged to take increasing ownership for the scope of student engagement experiences offered on their campuses.

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  • Miller, Abby. 2013. Institutional practices that facilitate bachelor’s degree completion for transfer students. In Collegiate transfer: Navigating the new normal. Edited by Janet L. Marling, 39–50. New Directions for Higher Education 162. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    Two studies that examine promising practices for students who transfer from two-year to four-year institutions are included in this report. Computes comparisons between transfer and native students. Identifies findings for two-year institutions that successfully facilitated transfer and discusses challenges specific to the transfer experience at the four-year institutions.

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  • Porchea, Sameano F., Jeff Allen, Steve Robbins, and Richard P. Phelps. 2010. Predictors of long-term enrollment and degree outcomes for community college students: Integrating academic, psychosocial, socio-demographic, and situational factors. Journal of Higher Education 81.6: 750–778.

    DOI: 10.1353/jhe.2010.0014Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The authors investigate how various factors predicted student success and find that such factors as higher levels of academic preparation predicted community college degree attainment and transfer to four-year institutions. Obtaining a degree increased with increases in high school grade point average and standardized achievement score. Parental education, higher degree expectations, and fewer hours worked also predicted transfer to a four-year institution.

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  • Sanderson, Heather, Jason DeRousie, and Nicole Guistwite. 2018. Impact of collegiate recreation on academic success. Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice 55.1: 40–53.

    DOI: 10.1080/19496591.2017.1357566Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    All students enrolled full time for the fall 2013 semester at a large public university in the Southeast were included in this study. Total contact hours were calculated by the various recreational activities in which students were involved. Students who had higher numbers of recreation contact experienced greater academic success, as measured by grade point average, percentage of credits passed, and persistence or graduation, even when controlling for pre-college characteristics.

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Effects of Student Learning Initiatives on Student Success

Various approaches to student learning have been studied in recent years to determine the extent to which they facilitate persistence. Arendale 2010 provides an overview of these programs. Loes, et al. 2017 concludes that collaborative learning facilitates persistence. Sanabria, et al. 2020 examines the effects of remedial coursework on student success. Wolniak, et al. 2012 finds that high levels of academic and social integration positively affect student persistence. Zepke and Leach 2010 reviews studies of student engagement and presents ten proposals to facilitate student engagement.

  • Arendale, David R. 2010. Access at the crossroads: Learning assistance in higher education. ASHE Higher Education Report 36.5. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    Provides a historical overview of learning assistance in US higher education. Discusses the rationale for learning assistance, identifies cost dimensions of assistance initiatives, and includes recommendations for change to various institutional stakeholders.

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  • Loes, Chad N., Brian P. An, Kern Sachaie, and Ernest T. Pascarella. 2017. Does collaborative learning influence persistence to the second year of college? Journal of Higher Education 88.1: 62–84.

    DOI: 10.1080/00221546.2016.1243942Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The authors study 2,987 first-year students at nineteen institutions to determine if collaborative learning influenced persistence from the first year to the second year. They find that those students who were exposed to collaborative learning were more likely to persist from year one to year two of their college experience. This was true regardless of race, gender, or precollege ability. Collaborative learning also led to positive peer interactions.

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  • Sanabria, Tanya, Andrew Penner, and Thurston Domina. 2020. Failing at remediation? College remedial coursetaking, failure and long-term student outcomes. Research in Higher Education 61.4: 459–484.

    DOI: 10.1007/s11162-020-09590-zSave Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This study is centered on students who enroll in remedial coursework. The essence of the study’s findings, based on a national database, is that students who take remedial coursework and pass this coursework completed bachelor’s degrees at higher rates than students who did not take remedial coursework. By contrast, students who failed their remedial coursework took longer to obtain a bachelor’s degree and earned lower wages than students who did not take remedial coursework. Though students may benefit from remedial education, many students still struggle with remedial education and fail to realize the benefits of such education.

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  • Wolniak, Gregory C., Matthew J. Mayhew, and Mark E. Engberg. 2012. Learning’s weak link to persistence. Journal of Higher Education 83.6: 795–823.

    DOI: 10.1353/jhe.2012.0041Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This study advances the investigators’ understanding of the relationship between student learning and college persistence. Students who persisted from the first year to the second year of college had parents with a college degree and higher ACT scores. Those who persisted also reported higher levels of academic and social integration during the first year of college related to exposure to quality teaching, frequencies of faculty contact, peer interactions, and co-curricular involvement. Moreover, the authors point out that student involvement in the co-curriculum, their relationship with peers, and quality teaching have a relationship with persistence, whereas student learning has only a weak relationship with persistence.

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  • Tolian, Teniell L., and Elizabeth Jach, eds. 2019. Applied learning in higher education: Curricular and co-curricular experiences that improve student learning. New Directions for Higher Education 188. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    The entire volume is devoted to curricular, co-curricular, and career-focused applied learning experiences in higher education. It provides recommendations for practice in such aspects of higher education as collaborative learning, co-curricular and student leadership experiences, first-year research experiences, and applied learning in work experiences and internships.

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  • Zepke, Nick, and Linda Leach. 2010. Improving student engagement: Ten proposals for action. Active Learning in Higher Education 11.3: 167–177.

    DOI: 10.1177/1469787410379680Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The authors synthesize findings from studies conducted in ten countries “from four dominant research perspectives that illuminate student engagement in higher education” (p. 174), including motivation and agency, transactional engagement, institutional support, and active citizenship. They include ten proposals for action by faculty and institutions.

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Effects of Scholarships and Loans on Student Success

Providing resources available to students to help them pay for college is of interest to those associated with higher education. Loans, in particular, have grown dramatically recently, and student debt is an increasing concern, as pointed out in Baker and Montalto 2019. Carpenter, et al. 2017 discusses a special program designed to support single parent students. Fox, et al. 2017 finds that males are less likely to anticipate problems with repaying student debt, but a majority of students report that their institutions should provide financial education. Hu 2011 concludes that scholarship awards positively affect the success of low-income students of color. Woo, et al. 2017 reports that students who do not complete bachelor’s degrees are less likely to repay their loans.

  • Baker, Amanda R., and Catherine P. Montalto. 2019. Student loan debt and financial stress: Implications for academic performance. Journal of College Student Development 60.1: 115–120.

    DOI: 10.1353/csd.2019.0008Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This study is focused on determining if the academic implications of financial concerns differed on the basis of race/ethnicity or gender. Data were collected from a random sample of 5,000 undergraduate students at a public Midwestern university in 2014. Of the respondents, 40 percent did not expect to have loan debt upon graduating. Students with high levels of financial stress had lower grade point averages. A high amount of loan debt was associated with reduced academic performance for students of color, especially those who expected to graduate with $40,000 or more loan debt, but not white students.

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  • Carpenter, Dick M., Sarah J. Kaka, Jennifer A. Tygret, and Katy Cathcart. 2017. Testing the efficacy of a scholarship program for single parent, post-freshmen, full time undergraduates. Research in Higher Education 59.1: 108–131.

    DOI: 10.1007/s11162-017-9456-0Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article reports on the effects of a program designed to support undergraduate students who are single parents. Elements of the program include social support, financial support, institutional support (advising, counseling, and health and wellness support), and requirements for participation (minimum grade point average, sophomore standing, single parent, earn a minimum of twenty-four credits per year). Participants were more likely to complete their degrees and accumulate more credits than nonparticipants.

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  • Fox, Jonathan J., Suzanne Bartholomae, Jodi C. Letkiewicz, and Catherine P. Montalto 2017. College student debt and anticipated repayment difficulty. Journal of Student Financial Aid 47.2: 111–135.

    DOI: 10.55504/0884-9153.1576Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This study is a report of data from the 2010 Ohio Wellness Study that analyzed factors associated with anticipated difficulty in repayment of debt after graduation. Males were less likely than females to report anticipated problems with paying post debts. Students with higher grade point averages and detailed course plans anticipated less trouble paying than students without these assets. One in four of the study’s participants anticipated problems paying the accumulated debt after college. Over 60 percent of the study’s participants reported that it is the institution’s responsibility to provide some sort of financial education to assist with finances.

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  • Hu, Shouping. 2011. Scholarship awards, student engagement, and leadership capacity of high-achieving low-income students of color. Journal of Higher Education 82.5: 511–534.

    DOI: 10.1080/00221546.2011.11777216Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The study reports on the relationship between scholarship awards and the leadership capacity of college graduates. The author finds that scholarship awards are positively related to academic and social engagement. He also finds that engagement in college activities has substantial influences on the development of leadership capacity of college graduates. High-achieving low-income students who have received scholarships have a higher level of leadership efficacy and are more likely to take on leadership positions after graduation.

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  • Woo, Jennie H., Alexander H. Bentz, Stephen Lew, Nicole Smith, and Erin Dunlop Velez. 2017. Repayment of student loans as of 2015 among 1995–96 and 2003–04 first-time beginning students: First look. NCES 2018-410. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.

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    This study examines repayment of federal student loans comparing those who began their college career in 1995–1996 and those who began in 2003–2004. Borrowing patterns and repayment and default rates were reported. Those who completed bachelor’s degrees were less likely to default than those who had not.

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Effects of Work on Student Success

Closely related to loans and scholarships as means by which students can pay for college is the concept of students’ working while enrolled in their baccalaureate program. Choi 2018 cautions students not to work more than twenty hours per week, as this can adversely affect student success. Halper, et al. 2020 finds that practicing reflection adds potency to the value of on-campus employment. Lewis 2020 examines the effects of work on student leadership development. Salisbury, et al. 2012 finds that while more than twenty hours of work per week can affect peer interaction and co-curricular involvement, it can enhance students’ sense of self-efficacy. Shirley 2021 examines the effect of work on student success of students of color. Zilvinskis and McCormick 2019 finds that working thirty hours per week or more had a negative effect on student participation in high-impact practices related to student success.

  • Choi, Yool. 2018. Student employment and persistence: Evidence of effect heterogeneity of student employment on college dropout. Research in Higher Education 59.1: 88–107.

    DOI: 10.1007/s11162-017-9458-ySave Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This study examines the effects of employment on persistence. Data were extracted from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. The author finds that engaging in intense work can have a significantly adverse effect on student persistence. He also finds that engaging in intense work, defined as more than twenty hours per week, had a more deleterious effect on students from advantaged backgrounds than on those from the most disadvantaged backgrounds.

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  • Halper, Leah R., Caleb A. Craft, and Yang Shi. 2020. Expanding the student employment literature: Investigating the practice of reflection in on-campus student employment. Journal of College Student Development 61.4: 516–521.

    DOI: 10.1353/csd.2020.0045Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This study was designed to explore if student employment could be enhanced to better ensure academic benefits to student employees. Participants were part of a randomized sample of 1983 student employees at a large university with 793 actually participating in the study with an important variable being that students participated in a Student Employment Experience (SEE) program, which was designed to provide an enriched employment experience through structured learning competencies, supervisor training, and co-curricular development workshops or they did not. The authors concluded that reflection on academic integration is a key to student learning in the employment program under study. Employment programs, in their view, could facilitate reflection on academic integration through such approaches as peer or group discussions, writing reflections, workshops, and training seminars.

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  • Lewis, Jonathan S. 2020. Reconsidering the effects of work on college student leadership development: An empirical perspective. Journal of College Student Development 61.5: 539–557.

    DOI: 10.1353/csd.2020.0054Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This study explored how the relationship between in-campus work and socially responsible leadership capacity might vary if work was disaggregated into distinctive workplaces, and whether working status is associated with self-efficacy for leadership. The final sample size was 35,829. The study found that traditional-age, residential students who worked for pay rated themselves lower in socially responsible leadership capacity. The authors speculated that leadership in higher education is defined by a person rather than a process. They assert that faculty and staff supervisors should develop postindustrial competencies in their student employees, such as collaborative approaches to teaching, scholarship, and governance.

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  • Salisbury, Mark H., Ernest T. Pascarella, Ryan D. Padgett, and Charles Blaich. 2012. The effects of work on leadership development among first-year college students. Journal of College Student Development 53.2: 300–324.

    DOI: 10.1353/csd.2012.0021Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The authors find that working more than ten hours per week was beneficial to leadership development. On-campus work had virtually no impact on leadership development. Working more than twenty hours per week negatively affected peer interaction and co-curricular involvement. The results challenge commonly held beliefs that working more than twenty hours per week off-campus negatively affects students. The authors posit that students working off-campus may enhance their sense of self-efficacy.

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  • Shirley, Maurice. 2021. Work and race matters: Examining the relationship between two critical factors of college completion at four-year institutions. Review of Higher Education 44.4: 523–554.

    DOI: 10.1353/rhe.2021.0011Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Using federal data sources, the author examined student employment and degree attainment for black, Latinx, and white students enrolled in four-year institutions. The author found that working in college has greater influence on outcomes for students of color and the intensity of employment affects college completion.

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  • Zilvinskis, John, and Alexander C. McCormick. 2019. Do working students buy into HIPs? Working for pay and participation in high-impact practices. Journal of College Student Development 60.5: 543–562.

    DOI: 10.1353/csd.2019.0049Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This study included 207,837 seniors at institutions that grant bachelor’s degrees and aimed to determine the extent to which students who worked, or did not, participated in high-impact practices (HIP), practices designed to enhance and enrich student learning. More students studied part time rather than full time. Students who worked up to 20 hours per week were more likely to participate in HIP experiences than students who did not work. Students who worked on research with faculty were more likely to participate than students who did not work. Working thirty hours per week or more had a negative effect on HIP participation. The authors recommend further inquiry into why students who did not work at all were less likely to participate in HIPs than those who worked.

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Effects of Student Success Experiences on Historically Underserved Students

Higher education is under increasing scrutiny by its various stakeholders to provide services and experiences that facilitate the success of historically underserved students. This section provides a number of studies designed to explore the effects of experiences designed to facilitate the success of underserved students. The first subsection addresses programs, initiatives, and experiences of At-Risk Students in the aggregate. Then, programs designed to address the specific needs of historically underserved groups of students are examined.

At-Risk Students

This section provides an overview of the experiences of at-risk students such as those who have limited financial resources, are the first member of their family to attend college, or may be of a non-dominant culture. Cataldi, et al. 2018 provides a statistical analysis of the experiences of first-generation students. Dongs 2019 finds little difference between the experiences of first-generation students and continuing generation students. Kinzie, et al. 2022 provides recommendations for teaching that have an impact on persistence from year one to year two. Museus, et al. 2011 provides an analysis of students of color in STEM programs, as does Singell and Waddell 2010. Musu-Gillette, et al. 2017 builds on this report and identifies the challenges faced by at-risk students. O’Donnell, et al. 2015 describes student success programs for students of color in STEM fields. Roksa and Kinsley 2019 advocates for partnerships to be formed between institutions and parents of first-generation students to improve the potential for student success.

  • Cataldi, Emily Forrest, Christopher T. Bennett, and Xianglei Chen. 2018. First-generation students: College access, persistence, and postbachelor’s outcomes. NCES 2018-421. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.

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    This study compared persistence rates of students whose parents did not enroll in college with those whose parents did. Students whose parents did not enroll in college lagged in persistence measures.

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  • Dong, Suhua. 2019. The effects of first-generation status on student engagement and outcomes at liberal arts colleges. Journal of College Student Development 60.1: 17–34.

    DOI: 10.1353/csd.2019.0001Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    First-generation students are defined as students neither of whose parents attended college. They comprise about one-fifth of all students. They are more likely to be students of color than white students and are more likely to accumulate debt than students who are not first-generation attendees. First-generation status had no effect on most engagement and outcome variables. First generation-students in this study appeared to be taking advantage of college experience to the same extent as continuing generation students.

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  • Kinzie, Jillian, Robert Gonyea, Rick Shoup, and George D. Kuh. 2022. Promoting persistence and success of underrepresented students: Lesson for teaching and learning. In The impact of community on teaching and Learning: Lessons from before and after COVID. Edited by Catherine M. Wehlburg, 51–65. New Directions for Teaching and Learning 170. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    This chapter explores the relationship between indicators of student success and remedial course taking and course withdrawal rates. Data-based ways to address these issues are proposed. The authors conclude that student engagement has a statistically significant effect on persistence. Being involved in co-curricular activities has a strong, positive impact on persistence to the second year. African American students benefit more than white students from increasing their engagement in educationally effective activities. Eight conclusions are offered to address the retention challenge in teaching and learning. They also conclude that efforts to make campus environments more hospitable for underrepresented students must be culturally sensitive and strive to employ engaging educational practices that make a difference to student success.

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  • Museus, Samuel D., Robert T. Palmer, Ryan J. Davis, and Dina C. Maramba. 2011. Racial and ethnic minority student success in STEM education. ASHE Higher Education Report 36.6. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    This report makes the case that students of color need to be successful in STEM fields. Identifies factors and conditions for the success of these students, including campus environments, institutional agents, and specific opportunity and support programs.

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  • Musu-Gillette, Lauren, Cristobal de Brey, Joel McFarland, William Hussar, William Sonnenberg, and Sydney Wilkinson-Flicker. 2017. Status and trends in the education of racial and ethnic groups 2017. NCES 2017-051. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.

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    This report includes data that examine educational progress and challenges faced by students in the United States by ethnicity. Also includes demographic data, achievement, student behaviors and persistence, and outcomes.

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  • O’Donnell, Ken, Judy Botelho, Jessica Brown, Gerardo M. Gonzalez, and William Head. 2015. Undergraduate research and its impact on student success for underrepresented students. In Enhancing and expanding undergraduate research: A systems approach. Edited by Mitchell Malachowski, Jeffrey M. Osborn, and Elizabeth L. Ambos, 27–38. New Directions for Higher Education 169. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    The introduction to this chapter identifies high-impact practices that influence student learning on California State University campuses and then describes the influence of undergraduate research programs as a means of facilitating student success. Discusses support programs, mentoring and role models, and funding for students. Also includes recommendations for enhancement of undergraduate research programs.

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  • Roksa, Josipa, and Peter Kinsley. 2019. The role of family support in facilitating academic success of low-income students. Research in Higher Education 60.4: 415–436.

    DOI: 10.1007/s11162-018-9517-zSave Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The authors assert that few studies consider the role of family support after matriculation. The study of 728 low-income students attending eight, four-year institutions indicates that family support plays an important role in fostering academic outcomes. The authors found that family emotional support was an important predictor of student success, including grades, credit accumulation, and persistence. Family emotional support is important as it promotes psychological well-being and greater engagement. The authors conclude that higher education institutions and families will be in a stronger position to foster student success if they work together and recognize each other’s contributions.

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  • Singell, Larry D., and Glen R. Waddell. 2010. Modeling retention at a large public university: Can at-risk students be identified early enough to treat? Research in Higher Education 51.6: 546–572.

    DOI: 10.1007/s11162-010-9170-7Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This is a single-institution study examining programs designed to address issues of persistence of at-risk students. Discusses admission of such students and explores interventions’ value to the institution. The authors question the extent to which such interventions are cost effective.

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Enhancing the Success of African American Students

African American students have graduation rates lower than those from the majority culture. Palmer, et al. 2014 provides background information about African American male students and identifies initiatives and experiences that facilitate their success. Perna, et al. 2010 provides an overview of historically black colleges and universities and then provides a case study of STEM persistence at Spelman College, a historically black women’s college.

  • Palmer, Robert T., J. Luke Wood, T. Elon Dancy II, and Terrell L. Strayhorn. 2014. Black male collegians: Increasing access, retention and persistence in higher education. ASHE Higher Education Report 40.3. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    This report discusses the experiences of black men from early childhood education through postsecondary education. Identifies factors critical to black men’s access to higher education and their success.

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  • Perna, Laura W., Marybeth Gasman, Shannon Gary, Valerie Lundy-Wagner, and Noah D. Drezner. 2010. Identifying strategies for increasing degree attainment in STEM: Lessons from minority-serving institutions. In Students of color in STEM. Edited by Shaun R. Harper and Christopher B. Newman, 41–51. New Directions for Institutional Research 148. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    The authors assert that higher education institutions must improve the educational accomplishments of students in STEM fields. Accordingly, they focused their study on Spelman College, an HBCU women’s college. Spelman has consistently high scores on indicators of success for STEM bachelor’s degree production. Spelman students overcome barriers to success in STEM fields through institutional practices, such as small class sizes, ease of faculty access, and accessibility and use of academic support services.

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Enhancing the Success of Asian American Students

Kodama 2017 recommends different approaches to student development regarding Asian American students. A model for Asian American students is presented in Manzano, et al. 2017. Pak, et al. 2014 disaggregates data regarding Asian American students and recommends a restructuring of campus policies to meet the needs of this very diverse group of students, a conclusion reinforced by the findings of Xiong 2022.

  • Kodama, C. M. 2017. Reconsidering Asian American student development. In Bridging research and practice to support Asian American students. Edited by Susan R. Jones and Sherry K. Watt, 25–37. New Directions for Student Services 160. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    The author asserts that traditional approaches to student development are inappropriate for Asian American students. The chapter updates information about Asian American students’ development. New perspectives are offered related to the ethnic and racial identity of Asian American students in the context of the students’ overall development. Areas for future research are suggested.

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  • Manzano, Lester, Jessica Liu, David Nguyen, and Ge Song. 2017. Asian American student engagement in student leadership and activism. In Bridging research and practice to support Asian American students. Edited by Susan R. Jones and Sherry K. Watt, 65–79. New Directions for Student Services 160. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    A critical review of research on engagement and activism as applied to Asian American students is presented. Then, a model for Asian American students is presented. Finally, recommendations for practitioners are presented, including empowering students to engage in leadership and/or activism and recognizing the relationship between leadership and activism as forms of student involvement.

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  • Pak, Yoon K., Dina C. Maramba, and Xavier J. Hernandez. 2014. Asian Americans in higher education: Charting new realities. ASHE Higher Education Report 40.1. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    Provides foundational information and historical background on Asian Pacific Islander students. Identifies influential factors in the Asian American student experience and discusses implications for policy and practice, such as disaggregating data and providing support networks.

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  • Xiong, Soua. 2022 The role of faculty in faculty-student engagement: Disaggregated analyses by ethnicity for Southeast Asian American college students. Journal of College Student Development 63.4: 461–466.

    DOI: 10.1353/csd.2022.0039Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The purpose of this study is to examine how student perceptions of faculty predicted engagement with faculty and if this engagement varied among Southeast Asian students. The study included 605 community college students who identified as Southeast Asian. Student perceptions of faculty validation is an important factor in predicting engagement with faculty but, when disaggregated, student engagement varies by ethnicity and student perceptions of faculty relationship were not significant predictors for Cambodian and Laotian participants. The author recommends disaggregated data when studying Southeast Asia students.

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Do High-Impact Practices Facilitate LGBTQ+ Student Success?

Kilgo 2020 describes strategies and programs that can facilitate the success of LGBTQ+ students. Kilgo, et al. 2019 examines the extent to which high-impact practices facilitate students’ academic success. Of the factors studied, the authors found that only undergraduate research participation predicted student academic success.

  • Kilgo, Cindy Ann. 2020. Supporting success for LGBTQ+ students: Tools for inclusive practice. Columbia: Univ. of South Carolina, National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience & Students in Transition.

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    This book is based on research related to the experiences of LGBTQ+ students in higher education. It includes descriptions of the challenges LGBTQ+ students face in college and provides examples of practices and programs to help create a more inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ students. Even though acceptance of LBGTQ+ students seems to be increasing, they often face a negative institutional climate, which impedes their success.

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  • Kilgo, Cindy A., Jodi L. Linley, Kristen A. Renn, and Michael R. Woodford. 2019. High-impact for whom? The influence of environment and identity on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer college students’ participation in high-impact practices. Journal of College Student Development 60.4: 421–436.

    DOI: 10.1353/csd.2019.0038Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This study focuses on the experiences of LGBTQ+ students’ academic development and whether campus environments meditate that relationship. A national sample of 747 students were included in this study, and the students attended two- and four-year institutions. Internship, learning community, senior capstone experience, and student abroad did not significantly influence students’ academic development. Undergraduate research predicted students’ academic development. Instructor-student relations accounted for part of the significant effect of participation in undergraduate research. Environmental factors were influential in students’ academic development.

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Facilitating the Persistence of Distance and Online Education Students

Distance education students tend to persist at lower rates than campus-based students, often because services and programs that facilitate student success are not readily available. Guan and Stanford 2016, a case study, identifies means of support for faculty who teach in distance education programs and students who take courses using a distance medium. Meyer 2014 examines issues related to persistence and identifies programs and experiences that increase the retention of these students.

  • Guan, Sharon, and Daniel Stanford. 2016. Learner and faculty support. In Issues in distance education. Edited by Maureen Snow Andrade, 65–74. New Directions for Higher Education 173. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    Describes support for students and faculty in online courses, with the goal being that students can be successful in completing such courses and that faculty are able to offer courses that meet organizational goals. Includes a case study of one institution’s approach.

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  • Meyer, Katrina A. 2014. Student engagement online: What works and why. ASHE Higher Education Report 40.6. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    Discusses the importance of student engagement in online learning. Provides techniques for student engagement in online learning as well as outcomes, including a greater sense of community and increased retention.

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  • Sundt, Melora A., Sharla Berry, and Adam Ortiz. 2017. Using data to support online student communities. In Using data-informed decision-making to improve student affairs practice. Edited by Kathleen M. Goodman and Darnell Cole, 83–91. New Directions for Student Services 159. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    Data plans can be developed to measure the extent to which specific experiences contribute to student success. Specific student experiences discussed include participation in orientation programs, student satisfaction with staff support, and institutional responsiveness to student needs. Cautions are provided so that investigators employ a nuanced approach to data collection and analysis.

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  • Sundt, Melora A., Darnell Cole, and Marissiko Wheaton. 2017. Using data to guide diversity work and enhance student learning. In Using data-informed decision-making to improve student affairs practice. Edited by Kathleen M. Goodman and Darnell Cole, 93–103. New Directions for Student Services 159. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    The purpose of the chapter is to demonstrate how data on campus diversity can be used to inform student affairs practice. Three elements of using the data are discussed, including identifying the scope of the inquiry, using data to improve program design, and using data to assess the effects of programs on diverse student communities. Diversity is defined as the composition of the community and the degree to which members of the community experience a culture and inclusion so that members feel a sense of belonging and respect.

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Addressing Challenges Faced by First-Year Students

First-year students face significant challenges in transitioning from high school to college, both academically and socially, as Tinto 1987, Tinto 1994, and Tinto 2012 (all cited under Student Retention) find. Andrews 2018 identifies additional challenges faced by students who delay their entry into higher education from high school. Bowman, et al. 2019 looks at student adjustment in the first semester of college. Culver and Bowman 2020 concludes that first-year seminars in his study did not enhance student success. DeAngelo 2014 identifies programs that facilitate persistence from high school to college. Kanji, et al. 2022 describes reports from students who did not persist from their first year of college to their second. Ribera, et al. 2017 examines high-impact practices to determine the extent to which they foster student engagement, as does Tukibayeva and Gonyea 2014. Young 2020 finds that first-year seminar type was related to the extent that the seminars had an effect of student success.

  • Andrews, Benjamin D. 2018. Delayed enrollment and student involvement: Linkages to college degree attainment. Journal of Higher Education 89.3: 368–396.

    DOI: 10.1080/00221546.2017.1390972Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Students who delay college enrollment (delayers) after they graduate from high school have a lower chance of completing college when compared with students who enroll in college immediately after high school. Delayers are less likely to participate in high-impact activities than those who do not delay enrollment. Delayers did not experience a compensatory benefit by being highly involved in high-impact activities when compared with their immediate enrollment peers. Only participating in an internship was positively associated with the attainment of a bachelor’s degree. In this study, high-impact practices were not as important in students achieving success as were social background and precollege characteristics.

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  • Bowman, Nicholas A., Lindsay Jarratt, Nayoung Jang, and Timothy J. Bono. 2019. The unfolding of student adjustment during the first semester of college. Research in Higher Education 60.3: 273–292.

    DOI: 10.1007/s11162-018-9535-xSave Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Having a sense of belonging and well-being are components of college student adjustment and success, according to the authors. This study of 882 undergraduates examines data collected week by week during their first semester of college. The study raises questions for further inquiry into students’ residential experiences, interactions with roommates, and strategies for resident assistants to be engaged with students. The study also highlighted benefits of nonacademic forms of engagement, including exercise, co-curricular involvement, and even an occasional skipped class.

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  • Culver, K. C., and Nicholas A. Bowman. 2020. Is what glitters really gold? A quasi-experimental study of first-year seminars and college student success. Research in Higher Education 61.2: 167–196.

    DOI: 10.1007/s11162-019-09558-8Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The participants in this study were included in the Wabash National Study of Liberal Arts Education (WNS), three cohorts who entered college between 2006 and 2008. The authors conclude that participation produced no positive overall effects with the possible exception of short-term college satisfaction. Lack of favorable results for college grades, retention, and four-year graduation were reported.

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  • DeAngelo, Linda. 2014. Programs and practices that retain students from the first to second year: Results from a national study. In Emerging research and practices on first-year students. Edited by Ryan D. Padgett, 53–75. New Directions for Institutional Research 160. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    Using CIRP data, the author examines students’ intent to reenroll in a second year of college after completing their first year. The most important finding is the importance of engaging in meaningful academic engagement, such as talking with other students about the content of their courses. Identifies recommendations for faculty and professional staff.

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  • Fosnacht, Kevin, Robert M. Gonyea, and Polly A. Graham. 2020. The relationship of first-year residence hall roommate assignment policy with interactional diversity and perceptions of the campus environment. Journal of Higher Education 91.5: 781–804.

    DOI: 10.1080/00221546.2019.1689483Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This study aimed to study if an institution’s roommate assignment process influenced students’ interactional diversity and perceptions of the campus environment. White students were more likely to choose their roommates than students of color. Students who were matched by their institution were no more likely to engage in discussions with others who differ from them. Students of color who chose their roommates perceived a more supportive campus environment than those who were matched by their institutions. One of the authors’ recommendations was for institutions to develop and enhance programs for students from underrepresented groups to make social connections early and discover safe spaces.

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  • Kanji, Zui, Michelle Pidgeon, and Michelle Nilson. 2022. Enhancing post-secondary student retention: Lessons learned from stories of former first-year students. Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice 59.2: 165–179.

    DOI: 10.1080/19496591.2020.1835670Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This study focused on a qualitative study of ten dental hygiene students (nine did not live on campus) from a large Canadian university. Narrative inquiry was employed with students who did not persist from their year of study to their second. One thread across the participants was that they were unprepared academically for higher education. Additionally, they were unaware and were not informed about student support services. They did establish friendships through academic learning communities. The authors recommend additional studies of students enrolled in other academic disciplines.

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  • Ribera, Amy K., Angie L. Miller, and Amber D. Dumford. 2017. Sense of peer belonging and institutional acceptance in the first year: The role of high-impact practices. Journal of College Student Development 58.4: 545–563.

    DOI: 10.1353/csd.2017.0042Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This study examines if high-impact practices, such as learning communities, service learning, undergraduate research, capstone projects, and study abroad, affect students’ sense of peer belonging and institutional acceptance positively. The results of the study, which used NSSE data, identified four promising engagement activities. Institutional control, private compared with public, also affected the participants’ sense of peer belonging and institutional acceptance.

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  • Tukibayeva, Malika, and Robert M. Gonyea. 2014. High impact practices and the first year student. In Emerging research and practices on first-year students. Edited by Ryan D. Padgett, 19–35. New Directions for Institutional Research 160. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    The authors review the potency of three high-impact practices on first-year students who participated in service learning, learning communities, or undergraduate research projects with a faculty member. Each study was conducted using NSSE data on a single campus. The effects of the students’ experiences ranged from small to moderate, but participation resulted in positive results in student learning and development.

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  • Young, Dallin George. 2020. Is first-year seminar type predictive of institutional retention rates? Journal of College Student Development 61.3: 379–390.

    DOI: 10.1353/csd.2020.0035Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This study examines the effect of student participation in one of several types of first-year seminars: an extended orientation course, an academic course with uniform content across all sections of the course, an academic course with content that varies across sections, a course with pre-professional or discipline-linked content, or a seminar that focused on basic study skills. The study included participants from 803 institutions of higher education. The academic seminar with variable content and that followed academic seminars with uniform content had greater retention rates than extended orientation seminars. The author recommends that more studies evaluate first-year seminars to determine how their structures and pedagogies contribute to success of first-year students.

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Enhancing the Success of Sophomore Students

Kranzow and Foote 2018 describes high-impact experiences that enhance sophomore students in facilitating their success.

  • Kranzow, Jeannine, and Stephanie Foote. 2018. Engaging sophomores through curricular and cocurricular initiatives. In Sophomore success: Making the most of the second year. Edited by Laurie A. Schreiner, 71–83. New Directions for Higher Education 183. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    The chapter provides a review of sophomore student characteristics, describes creating a sophomore receptive institutional culture, and endorses support for sophomore students who live in living learning communities, regardless of the locus of the students’ living arrangements. High impact cocurricular experiences tailored for sophomores are introduced, including internships, undergraduate research, study abroad, and service and community based. Institutional examples of programs developed for sophomores are provided.

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Programs Designed to Support the Success of Homeless, Food Insecure, and Foster Care Students

Obviously, the circumstances of homeless students and those who have been in and out of foster care are different, but they share a lack of support from family members as do students who experience food insecurity. Allen and Alleman 2019 describes issues related to food insecurity. Dworsky 2018 explores circumstances of students who have been in and out of foster care. Hallett and Crutchfield 2017 examines issues associated with the special needs of homeless students, a growing population of students. The authors provide recommendations for institutions to address the needs of these students. Perry 2018 provides strategies for addressing basic needs of students. Those who are or have been in foster care constitute a subset of these students. Dworsky 2018 provides suggestions for programs that can assist these students to achieve their educational goals.

  • Allen, Cara Cliburn, and Nathan F. Alleman. 2019. A private struggle at a private institution: Effects of student hunger on social and academic experiences. Journal of College Student Development 60.1: 52–69.

    DOI: 10.1353/csd.2019.0003Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    In this qualitative study, the authors analyzed the effects of food insecurity on the academic and social experiences of ten students at a private institution, described as normatively affluent, meaning that the vast majority of student were not from low-income families. Four patterns emerged from the data. Academics were sacrificed or interrupted, such as having to withdraw for a semester, by food insecurity. The institution’s resources were helpful to the students. Faculty served as mentors, confidants, and advocates for the students. Friends were a source of support and shame. Most of the students worked, sometimes two or three jobs at a time. The authors concluded that food insecurity complicates students’ lives and worked against their ability to take advantage of social and academic opportunities. The students were used to the kind of food support they received in their K-12 education and wished that similar support was available while they were enrolled in college.

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  • Dworsky, Amy. 2018. Improving the postsecondary educational attainment of youth in foster care. In Enrolling and supporting foster youth. Edited by Delores E. McNair and Stacy Heldman-Holguin, 11–19. New Directions for Community Colleges 181. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    The author asserts that the postsecondary attainment rate for youth in foster care is less than their peers not in foster care. Several programs are cited that promote postsecondary educational access and attainment, including state tuition waiver programs, targeted scholarships, the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program, and other federal programs. The author urges community colleges to be prepared to serve youth who are or were in foster care and help them overcome the unique challenges they face.

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  • Hallett, Ronald E., and Rashida Crutchfield. 2017. Homelessness and housing insecurity in higher education: A trauma-informed approach to research, policy and practice. ASHE Higher Education Report 43.6. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    Discusses the impact of homelessness and housing insecurity in the context of educational engagement and retention. Presents pertinent literature from K-12 education and explores implications for program and policy development.

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  • Perry, Kimberly. 2018. Strategies for campus leaders. In Homeless and hungry on campus. Edited by Delores E. McNair and Mark Fincher, 101–107. New Directions for Community Colleges 184. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    Strategies for college presidents are provided in this chapter to address basic needs of students attending community colleges. Leaders should begin by developing awareness of students who are homeless or who are experiencing housing insecurity or food insecurity. Once awareness is developed, a task force, in the opinion of the author, should be appointed to develop strategies to address these concerns of students. Institutional plans can include a food pantry, offering affordable and nutritious food on campus, opening shower and locker room facilities, providing low-cost child-care services, and setting aside space in residence halls to provide student support.

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Supporting International and Refugee Student Adjustment to US Colleges and Universities

International students who study in the United States, whether to earn a degree or simply for an exposure to US higher education, comprise a significant number of students. Immigrant and refugee students have similar goals, and they may or may not plan to live their lives after college in the United States. Their needs are unique to their backgrounds, and Sun, et al. 2016 addresses homesickness as a need that ought to be addressed. Kiyama and Crespin-Palmer 2020 addresses the needs of refugee students and their families. Jameson and Golshit 2017 offers recommendations for building communities for international students. Wolfgram 2020 identifies problems associated with appropriate credentialing for refugees. Recommendations for practice are provided.

  • Jameson, Helen Park, and S. Golshit. 2017. Building campus communities inclusive of international students: A framework for program development. In Student affairs professionals cultivating campus climates inclusive of international students. Edited by Helen Park Jameson and J. Renay Loper, 73–85. New Directions for Student Services 158. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    A framework is proposed with the purpose of helping student affairs staff in designing and implementing programs that will help prepare participants to develop skills, knowledge, and mindsets to communicate across cultural boundaries. Elements of the Intercultural Program Development Framework (IPDF) include assessment, goal establishment, program design and resource acquisition, program development and implementation, and program evaluation as well as adding complexity once the program is established. Self-assessment and training tools are discussed.

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  • Kiyama, Judy Marquez, and Veronica Crespin-Palmer. 2020. Cultivating postsecondary aspirations in immigrant and refugee families though community education, engagement and empowerment. In Refugee students and postsecondary realities. Edited by Judy Marquez Kiyama, Varaxy Yi, and Lauren Contreras, 11–20. New Directions for Higher Education 191. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    The authors of this article assert that expanding education opportunity, capacity building, and educational opportunity are facilitated by partnerships that involve the refugee community and institutions of higher education. The article provides a model program whereby the postsecondary aspirations of children are cultivated and educational systems that are unjust and inequitable are challenged. The authors recommend a community-based research approach that is important in working with families to enhance postsecondary educational aspirations, goals, and pathways.

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  • Sun, Jie, Linda S. Hagedorn, and Yi L. Zhang. 2016. Homesickness at college: Its impact on academic performance and retention. Journal of College Student Development 57.8: 943–957.

    DOI: 10.1353/csd.2016.0092Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This quantitative study examines the effect of homesickness on a sample of more than 10,000 students at a public university. First-generation participants were more likely to attain lower grade point averages and drop out of college. The majority of respondents experienced less than a moderate degree of homesickness, but a small proportion reported severe homesickness. Includes recommendations to address feelings of severe homesickness.

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  • Wolfgram, Matthew. 2020. Refugees and the audit culture of international higher education in the United States. In Refugee students and postsecondary realities. Edited by Judy Marquez Kiyama, Varaxy Yi, and Lauren Contreras, 55–66. New Directions for Higher Education 191. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    The premise of the article is that refugees do not have official copies of their credentialing documents, such as transcripts or diplomas, and, as a consequence, they encounter barriers to their professional work or continuing education. Examples are provided of refugees who are redirected from the career for which they are qualified to a different career, such as a pharmacist who was redirected to a position as pharmacy technician. Accepting unofficial documents or using unofficial pathways are recommended to provide for appropriate credentialing of refugees.

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Facilitating the Success of American Indian and Alaska Native Students

Keith, et al. 2016 examines the retention and graduation rates of American Indian and Alaska Native students in the United States. The authors identify various strategies that are designed to enhance student success and provide recommendations for future research.

  • Keith, Jill F., Sherri N. Stastny, and Ardith Brunt. 2016. Barriers and strategies for success for American Indian college students: A review. Journal of College Student Development 57.6: 698–714.

    DOI: 10.1353/csd.2016.0069Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This literature review was conducted to identify influences on retention and college graduation of American Indian and Alaska Native students in the United States. Structured first-year programs, such as peer mentors and classrooms that incorporate education for diverse learning styles, are identified as success strategies in the review, but discrimination, racism, separation and alienation, and difficulty dealing with the transition to college are identified as negative experiences. Includes recommendations for practice.

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  • Mills, Jack I., Yolanda Bisbee, Barbara Bisbee, et al. 2019. Institutional commitments to ensure native graduate student success. In Indigenous communities and access to graduate degrees in STEM. Edited by Karlel A. Hoo and Sweeney Windchief, 79–91. New Directions for Higher Education 187. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

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    The authors recommend that institutions develop comprehensive strategies of transformation. Common themes that ensure that the highest number of American Indian/Alaska Natives graduate is that they recognize and value indigenous scientific knowledge and incorporate this knowledge into the curricula, that indigenous students seek to use their graduate training to contribute to the success and quality of life of their tribal community, and that faculty advisors should respect indigenous culture. Additional suggestions and recommendations are provided.

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Enhancing the Success of Latino/Latina/Latinx Students

Latino, Latina s and Latinx students are a growing percentage of the population of college students in the United States. Arellano 2020 identifies student characteristics and institutional environments that lead to student success for this group of students. Their graduation rates tend to be lower than those of other racial and ethnic groups of students. Núñez, et al. 2013 and Kiyama, et al. 2015 identify factors and conditions that enhance the success of Latino and Latina students.

  • Arellano, Lucy. 2020. Capitalizing baccalaureate degree attainment: Identifying student and institution level characteristics that ensure success for Latinxs. Journal of Higher Education 91.4: 588–619.

    DOI: 10.1080/00221546.2019.1669119Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This study examined pre-college student characteristics and institutional environments that lead to degree attainment six years after initial enrollment for Latinx students, by ethnic group membership. Four variables were significant for each of the three Latinx subgroups at the student level, including gender (female), high school grade point average (students with higher grade point averages were more likely to complete their degree), the number of applications submitted, and concern about financing college (concern was detrimental). Those students for whom Spanish was a first language were more likely to complete college. The institution’s compositional diversity influenced persistence. The relationship between student and institutional characteristics is symbiotic.

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  • Kiyama, Judy Marquez, Samuel D. Museus, and Bianca E. Vega. 2015. Cultivating campus environments to maximize success among Latino and Latina college students. In College completion for Latino/a students: Institutional and system approaches. Edited by Melissa L. Freeman and Magdalena Martinez, 29–38. New Directions for Higher Education 172. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    Identifies and discusses factors that hinder or accelerate the success of Latino/a students at predominantly white institutions. Proposes a model for developing campus environments that respond to Latino/a communities and offers recommendations for developing culturally engaging campus environments and Latino/a students.

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  • Núñez, Anne-Marie, Richard E. Hoover, Kellie Pickett, A. Christine Stuart-Carruthers, and Maria Vázquez. 2013. Latinos in higher education and Hispanic-service institutions: Creating conditions for success. ASHE Higher Education Report 39.1 Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

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    Provides background information on Latino/a students and offers theories of identity development. Identifies challenges to Latino/a success and discusses various factors and conditions that contribute to the success of Latino/a students at both two- and four-year colleges.

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Facilitating the Success of Veterans

Of increasing interest in higher education has been the success of students who are veterans of military service and members of the active-duty military. DiRamio and Jarvis 2011 provides recommendations for practice to enhance the success of these students. Hamrick and Rumann 2013 provides suggestions and recommendations for those who seek to improve the persistence of student veterans. Sansone and Segura 2020 reports on factors contributing success of student veteran transfers.

  • DiRamio, David, and Kathryn Jarvis. 2011. Veterans on campus: When Johnnie and Jane come marching home. ASHE Higher Education Report 37.3. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

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    This volume provides information about students who are military veterans attending college. Various programs, ideas, facts, and frameworks are designed to facilitate the success of veterans or active-duty military who are students.

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  • Hamrick, Florence A., and Corey B. Rumann. 2013. Called to serve: A handbook on student veterans and higher education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    Focuses on facilitating the educational aspirations of students who have experience in the armed forces. Discusses strategies and organizational frameworks and includes vignettes describing the experiences of student veterans.

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  • Lunceford, Christina J., Eric Buetikofer, and Geoff Roberts. 2020. Our turn to serve: Assessing military-connected students. In Voices from the margins: Conducting inclusive assessment for minoritized students in higher education. Edited by Hyung Kyoung Ro and Ellen Broido, 53–63. New Directions for Student Services 169. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    Strategies to assess the experiences of students who have been or are connected with the military are introduced. Resources are provided as well as descriptions and assumptions and perceptions of military-connected students.

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  • Sansone, Vanessa A., and Jennifer S. Tucker Segura. 2020. Exploring factors contributing to college success among student veteran transfers at a four-year university. Review of Higher Education 43.3: 888–916.

    DOI: 10.1353/rhe.2020.0011Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The study compared a group of military veteran transfer students with a group of transfer students who were not military veterans. The study was conducted at a large, public university in Texas. The findings of the study indicated that there was no difference in the success of veteran and non-veteran students, indicating that veteran students, contrary to extant literature, were not at greater risk of not completing their studies when compared with non-veterans.

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Programs Designed to Enhance Women Student Success in STEM Fields

Women students historically have been underrepresented in STEM fields. Inkelas 2011 identifies living learning programs that also can enhance the success of women in STEM fields. Smith and Gayles 2017 reports on factors that can achieve a similar effect for women in STEM fields.

  • Inkelas, Karen Kurotsuchi. 2011. Living-learning programs for women in STEM. In Attracting and retaining women in STEM. Edited by Joy Gaston Gayles, 27–37. New Directions for Institutional Research 164. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    Examines living learning programs designed to facilitate success for women in STEM fields. The author concludes that such programs enhanced success for participants while cautioning that more research on the topic needs to be conducted. Women who participated in such programs were more likely to pursue graduate school in a STEM field and also less likely to binge drink.

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  • Smith, Kathleen N., and Joy G. Gayles. 2017. “Setting up for the next big thing”: Undergraduate women engineering students’ postbaccalaureate career decisions. Journal of College Student Development 58.8: 1201–1217.

    DOI: 10.1353/csd.2017.0094Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This qualitative study examines the experiences of ten women engineering majors and their postgraduate plans. Internships or cooperative experiences, research, or engineering-related involvement and utilization of campus resources were central to the participants finding full-time positions. The authors conclude that understanding the factors that encourage and facilitate women students entering engineering careers is important in assisting women who seek careers in engineering.

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Providing Support for Students with Disabilities

Cox, et al. 2021 describes challenges faced by students with autism. Kim and Kutcher 2021 describes selected effects of students with learning disabilities. Shea, et al. 2019 outlines programs for students at Landmark College, which is designed to provide a rich, special environment for students with learning disabilities.

  • Cox, Bradley E., Jeffrey Edelstein, Bailey Brogdon, and Amanda Roy. 2021. Navigating challenges to facilitate success for college students with autism. Journal of Higher Education 92.2: 252–278.

    DOI: 10.1080/00221546.2020.1798203Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Autistic students included in this study frequently mentioned wide-ranging problems or challenges associated with their college experiences. At the institutions included in the study students had to manage considerable issues and make personal adaptations in striving to achieve success. Higher education has been slow to recognize, understand, and respond to student needs.

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  • Kim, Mikyong Minsun, and Elizabeth Louise Kutcher. 2021. College students with disabilities: Factors influencing growth in academic ability and confidence. Research in Higher Education 62.3: 309–331.

    DOI: 10.1007/s11162-020-09595-8Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Data were collected from the 2004 and 2006 Higher Education Research Institute surveys and were disaggregated into physical disability and learning disability categories. Academic ability and intellectual self-confidence were the dependent variables in the study. Students with learning disabilities reported slower development of intellectual self-confidence than students with physical or sensory disabilities. Faculty encouragement of students to pursue graduate school enhanced student confidence and could promote academic ability. Findings also indicated that students benefit from the same types of experiences as their peers without disabilities.

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  • Shea, Lynne C., Linda Hecker, and Adam R. Lalor. 2019. From disability to diversity: College success for students with learning disabilities, ADHD, and autism spectrum disorder. Columbia: Univ. of South Carolina, National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience & Students in Transition.

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    This book explores topics related to students with learning disabilities that are not readily apparent, including autism and ADHD. The students with these disabilities may not choose to seek assistance in the learning environment. The makes the case for viewing these disabilities from a perspective of difference and for examining issues related to student success with the classroom and co-curricular experiences of students. All the authors are associated with Landmark College in Vermont, which employs a multidisciplinary approach to providing experiences for the students it serves.

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Effects of Experiences and Programs for Specific Populations of Students

Institutions of higher education often have an array of experiences designed to support the success of students or to help them develop special skills that are not available to all students. The rationales for providing these programs typically have to do with adding value to the student experiences and facilitating student persistence. The next set of experiences may or may not be available on all campuses.

Community College Student Success

A number of sources that examine dimensions of student success in two-year colleges are cited here. Alquicira, et al. 2022 describes an approach to involve community college students in research projects. Bahr, et al. 2023 describes skill builders, students who enroll in community colleges without completing a credential. The authors of Bartek, et al. 2022 use a case study approach in examining the development of an online improvement initiative. Bragg 2020 describes how transfer partnerships can facilitate success for students of color. Crisp and Hatch 2016 discusses high-impact practices in two-year colleges. Franke and Bicknell 2019 describes a summer program designed to keep community college students engaged that helps them achieve their educational goals. Gillett-Karam 2016 examines changes in thinking about the experiences of students who attend two-year colleges and recommends adopting learning theory and critical theory for providing theoretical foundations for the development of community college practice and policy. Lee, et al. 2022 reports on the effect of dual enrollment in a high school and community college, simultaneously indicating that such enrollment enhances students’ enrollment in further educational experiences. Liu, et al. 2021 notes that switching majors comes with a financial cost, plus additional time expended for students who do so. Maxwell and Pittman 2022 reports that experiential learning positions students well in terms of the skills they will need for their careers. Maxwell and Person 2016 focuses on reform efforts with a special emphasis on providing evidence that measures reform initiatives. Schudde 2019 finds that short- and long-term engagement with faculty and peers provides benefits for students. Waters-Bailey, et al. 2019 examines some of the challenges faced by rural community colleges in providing services to students. Yeh and Wetzstein 2020 reports on high-performing partnerships that facilitate student transfers from two-year colleges to bachelor’s degree granting institutions. Zeiser, et al. 2021 examines the effects of early college enrollment by high school students in two-year colleges have on impeding their enrollment in bachelor’s degree programs.

  • Alquicira, Edgar F., Laura Guertin Rosas, Tvelia Dean, Peter J. Berquist, and M. W. Cole. 2022. Undergraduate research at community colleges: A pathway to achieve student, faculty and institutional success. In Catalyzing change: STEM faculty as change agents. Edited by Eric M. Baer, Karen M. Layou, and R. Heather Macdonald, 63–75. New Directions for Community Colleges 199. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    Involving undergraduate community college students in research projects is a high-impact practice that can lead to student success in community college. Undergraduate research is defined from a faculty perspective Course-based undergraduate research activities are described at several community colleges. Lessons learned from the various approaches included in the chapter are provided and recommendations are suggested to strengthen undergraduate research programs.

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  • Bahr, Peter Riley, Yiran Chen, and Rooney Columbus. 2023. Community college skills builders: Prevalence, characteristics, behaviors, and outcomes of successful non-completing students across four states. Journal of Higher Education 94.1: 96–131.

    DOI: 10.1080/00221546.2022.2082782Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    A study of community college skills builders, students who enroll for a short period of time and take courses in career and technical education in community. They are very successful in their work but leave without a postsecondary credential. Their earnings post-college rose at a statistically significant rate. Tracking the outcomes of skills builders allows institutions to distinguished between students who have advanced their position in the labor market in spite of not completing a credential from students who have stepped out and not achieved their graduation goals.

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  • Bartek, Carrie, Lauren Pellegrino, Carol Cutler White, and Ashley B. Clayton. 2022. Institutional change to support online learners: A case study for student success. In Expanding community college opportunities: Access, transfer and completion. Edited by Carol Cutler White and Ashley B. Clayton, 135–148. New Directions for Community Colleges 198. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    A case study of a community college is presented on institutional change in the context of an online improvement initiative. An overview of the change initiative is described, the transformational change process is introduced, and recommendations and lessons learned for institutional change leaders are provided. Student outcome improvements include student-faculty communication, opportunities for student/student interaction, and student course performance. Lessons for leadership also are provided.

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  • Bragg, Deborah. 2020. How transfer partnerships support more equitable baccalaureate attainment. In Transfer partnerships for improved equity and outcomes. Edited by Debra D. Bragg, Theresa Ling Yeh, Lia Wetzstein, Elizabeth Apple Meza, 11–19. New Directions for Community Colleges 192. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    The racial transfer gap must be addressed to provide greater equity for community college students of color who wish to transfer to a baccalaureate degree granting institution. The gap between racially marginalized students and majority middle- and upper-class students has persisted over decades and is present in contemporary higher education. Lessons that have been learned about high performing transfer partnerships, including transformative leadership matters, intentional investment, a balance of power and shared outcomes, must be established, varied collaboration approached should be established, and cultural matches between institutions foster student success.

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  • Crisp, Gloria, and Deryl K. Hatch, eds. 2016. Promising and high-impact practices: Student success programs in the community college context. New Directions for Community Colleges 175. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    The volume presents selected research and practice programs that have been identified as promising in fostering student success outcomes beyond persistence, transfer, and credential attainment. Practical advice, recommendations, and resources related to promising practices and programs are provided.

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  • Franke, Ray, and Brian Bicknell. 2019. Taking a break, or taking a class? Examining the effects of incentivized summer enrollment on student persistence. Research in Higher Education 60.5: 606–635.

    DOI: 10.1007/s11162-018-9527-xSave Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This study examines the effects of an incentivized summer enrollment program whereby students were provided with an opportunity to enroll in a summer course of up to four credits in the summer at a four-year private technical college in Boston. Findings indicated significant increases in students’ chances to persist and reenroll in the fall semester. The authors conclude that this program lowered barriers for attending summer school for the college’s mostly low-income students. They also recommend that cost-benefit analyses be conducted. They also point out that while academically weaker students are likely to benefit the most from this program, more commonly, academically stronger students tended to enroll.

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  • Gillett-Karam, Rosemary. 2016. Moving from student development to student success. In Applying change theories to student affairs practice. Edited by C. Casey Ozaki and Robin L. Spaid, 9–21. New Directions for Community Colleges 174. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    The author asserts that student affairs and student services fail to support contemporary community college students. Historically relevant theories and approaches to student change and growth are critiqued in the chapter. The author asserts that adult learning theory and critical theory research are better positioned to provide theoretical foundations for the development of community college student affairs practice and policy.

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  • Lee, Jungmin, Frank Fernandez, Hyun Kyoung Ro, and Hongwook Suh. 2022. Does dual enrollment influence high school graduation, college enrollment, choice, and persistence? Research in Higher Education 63.5: 825–848.

    DOI: 10.1007/s11162-021-09667-3Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This study examined the effects of simultaneous dual enrollment in high school and community colleges on student educational outcomes. Statewide data for 2018 high school graduates were analyzed for this study. The authors concluded that dual enrollment participation increased the probability of graduating from high school, going to college, choosing a four-year college instead of a two-year college, and reenrolling in college in the second year. The authors point out that the study’s findings are consistent with the majority of previous studies on this topic.

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  • Liu, Vivian, Soumya Mishra, and Elizabeth M. Kopko. 2021. Major decision: The impact of major switching on academic outcomes in community colleges. Research in Higher Education 62.1: 498–527.

    DOI: 10.1007/s11162-020-09608-6Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Substantial percentages of students (28 percent in associate programs and 33 percent in baccalaureate programs) change their majors in the first three years of enrollment. Major switching can be an impediment to college completion, by lengthening the degree program and increasing costs. Those who switched majors more likely were female, were placed into remedial math coursework, or intended to earn a certificate, associate degree, or transfer to a four-year institution. Ultimately, they were less likely to earn a bachelor’s degree, but switching majors did not have a statistically significant effect on associate degree completion. Switching majors can be beneficial in terms of students’ longer-term goals, but not without time and cost implications.

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  • Maxwell, Katia, and Shannon Pittman. 2022. Experiential learning: An innovative way to bring success in the future endeavors of transfer students. In What does it mean to be a transfer-friendly university: Athens State University. Edited by Catherine M. Wellburg, 29–35. New Directions for Teaching and Learning 171. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    This chapter describes how students are provided with experiential learning activities using high-impact practices. Five categories of learning have taken place at Athens State: workplace learning, learning through research, hands-on learning, learning through expeditions, and community-based learning. Students are able to participate in these experiences not only in the classroom, but also through programs that allow for students to build a community by sharing experiences. The authors assert that students can learn skills that they will need to be successful in their careers.

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  • Maxwell, Nan L., and Ann E. Person, eds. 2016. Comprehensive reform for student success. New Directions for Community Colleges 176. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    This volume presents chapters that examine selected comprehensive reform efforts. All chapters have a focus on measurable student success, a packaging of programmatic components, and a culture of evidence. The volume concludes with a discussion of gaps that must be closed for institutions to develop a culture of evidence and to support a president’s views of the opportunities and challenges faced in implementing reforms.

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  • Schudde, Lauren. 2019. Short- and long-term impacts of engagement experiences with faculty and peers at community colleges. Review of Higher Education 42.2: 385–426.

    DOI: 10.1353/rhe.2019.0001Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This study examined first-year student engagement experiences, including social contact with faculty, speaking with faculty about academic matters outside of class, studying with peers, and participating in school clubs. The study used data from the Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study. Engagement with faculty regarding academic matters had both short- and long-term positive impacts, and other engagement experiences also positively impacted outcomes. Engagement experiences impact persistence.

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  • Waters-Bailey, Stacy, Matthew S. McGraw, and Jason Barr. 2019. Serving the whole students: Addressing nonacademic barriers facing rural community college students. In Revisiting rural community colleges. Edited by Zoë Mercedes Thornton, 83–93. New Directions for Community Colleges 187. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    Strategies for developing student support to address such issues as food insecurity, housing insecurity, transportation barriers, childcare needs, and mental health care and illness as experienced by rural community college students are addressed in this chapter. The authors suggest that even the most rural areas need support services to address the needs of students and, with planning and administrative support, nonacademic barriers students face can be reduced.

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  • Yeh, Theresa Ling, and Lia Wetzstein. 2020. A continuum of transfer partnerships: Toward intentional collaborations to improve transfer outcomes. In Transfer partnerships for improved equity and outcomes. Edited by Debra D. Bragg, Theresa Ling Yeh, Lia Wetzstein, and Elizabeth Apple Meza, 21–35. New Directions for Community Colleges 192. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    Multiple forms of transfer relationships have been developed over the years to serve community college students who seek to transfer to baccalaureate degree granting institutions. Transfer partnerships are defined as a collaboration between one or more community colleges and a baccalaureate degree granting institution for all or a particular subset of students. A study of high-performing transfer partnerships yielded partnerships ranging from cooperation to coordination to collaboration to alliances. A model partnership at the collaboration and alliance level was introduced to illustrate how these partnerships can be successful. Recommendations for practice are provided.

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  • Zeiser, Kristina L., Mengil Song, and Drew Atchison. 2021. The impact of early colleges on students’ postsecondary education trajectories: Can early colleges overcome the (supposedly) diversionary role of community colleges? Research in Higher Education 62.5: 600–622.

    DOI: 10.1007/s11162-020-09616-6Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This study examined the extent to which participation in early college (EC) high schools affected enrollment in college and completion of a bachelor’s degree. The study included 726 treatment students and 1,286 control students who participated in seventeen early college lottery programs. The outcomes studied were limited to college enrollment and degree attainment. The study included a conclusion that EC’s partnering with two-year colleges improved students’ chances to complete bachelor’s degrees successfully and allowed them to do so in a shorter period of time.

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Faculty-Student Interaction/Undergraduate Research Projects

Some colleges and universities place a special emphasis on student-faculty interaction through formal learning experiences in the classroom or collaborating on research projects. Jones, et al. 2010 asserts that student persistence in biology is facilitated through participating in research projects. Komarraju, et al. 2010; Trolian, et al. 2016; and Vuong, et al. 2010 also conclude that enhanced persistence was a result of student-faculty interaction.

  • Jones, Melanie T., Amy E. L. Barlow, and Merna Villarejo. 2010. Importance of undergraduate research for minority persistence and achievement in biology. Journal of Higher Education 81.1: 82–115.

    DOI: 10.1353/jhe.0.0082Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Studies the role of participation in undergraduate research in biology persistence and performance among a diverse group of students. The authors find that undergraduate research is associated with obtaining a baccalaureate degree, persisting in biology, and performing well in biology.

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  • Komarraju, Meera, Sergey Musulkin, and Gargi Bhattacharya. 2010. Role of student-faculty interactions in developing college students’ academic self-concept, motivation, and achievement. Journal of College Student Development 51.3: 683–706.

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    The authors investigate the influence of positive and negative faculty-student interactions on students’ collegiate experiences. They find that specific aspects of positive student-faculty interactions predicted students’ self-confidence, motivation, and achievement.

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  • Trolian, Teniell L., Elizabeth A. Jach, Jana M. Hanson, and Ernest T. Pascarella. 2016. Influencing academic motivation: The effects of student-faculty interaction. Journal of College Student Development 57.7: 810–826.

    DOI: 10.1353/csd.2016.0080Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This study examines the relationship between several types of student-faculty interaction and students’ motivation at the end of college. Data were from the Wabash National Study of Liberal Arts Education. All student-faculty interaction variables had a positive and statistically significant influence on academic motivation. Student gender did not have a moderating influence on academic motivation.

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  • Vuong, Mui, Sharon Brown-Welty, and Susan Tracz. 2010. The effects of self-efficacy on academic success of first-generation college sophomore students. Journal of College Student Personnel 51.1: 50–64.

    DOI: 10.1353/csd.0.0109Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The construct of self-efficacy is asserted as an important factor in the academic success of sophomore students. This study was consistent with the authors’ premises, and they asserted that first-generation sophomore students benefit from interaction with faculty members and peers. Such interactions influence self-efficacy perceptions positively, and that has a positive effect on academic success.

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Greek-Letter Organization Involvement Influence on Student Success

Participation in Greek-letter organizations is a somewhat controversial experience for students. Some studies conclude that participation has no effect on desired student outcomes, while others have found positive effects. Martin, et al. 2011 finds no effect related to student educational outcomes, while Routon and Walker 2019 reports on post-degree outcomes for members of Greek letter organizations. Thompson, et al. 2011 finds that participants in Greek-letter organizations had high self-efficacy scores but not higher academic achievement.

  • Martin, Georgianna L., Michael S. Hevel, Ashley M. Asel, and Ernest T. Pascarella. 2011. New evidence on the effects of fraternity and sorority affiliation during the first year of college. Journal of College Student Development 52.5: 543–559.

    DOI: 10.1353/csd.2011.0062Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Studies the effects of fraternity and sorority membership on first-year students’ development at eleven institutions. The authors conclude that student membership in Greek-letter organizations had no influence on a set of educational outcomes, which contradicted a number of other studies.

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  • Routon, P. Wesley, and Jay K. Walker. 2019. Post-baccalaureate health, family, and educational outcomes of fraternity and sorority members. Review of Higher Education 43.1: 427–455.

    DOI: 10.1353/rhe.2019.0101Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This study used the General Social Survey as its data source and included fraternity and sorority members and non-members. Findings indicated that that Greek and non-Greek members were indistinguishable in terms of their perceived health, and they were also indistinguishable regarding current or past marital status, marital satisfaction, age at first marriage, spousal employment, and number of children. Greek members had a higher probability of attaining a graduate degree. While Greek graduates were no more likely to drink alcohol than non-Greeks, Greek male graduates were more likely to drink to excess when they consumed alcohol.

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  • Thompson, Jon G., Jr., Crystal D. Oberle, and Jennifer L. Lilley. 2011. Self-efficacy and learning in sorority and fraternity students. Journal of College Student Development 52.6: 749–753.

    DOI: 10.1353/csd.2011.0078Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The authors studied self-efficacy in students who were members of Greek-letter organizations. The authors expected that these students would exert more effort and outperform non-Greek students. Findings indicate that Greek students had higher self-efficacy scores but did not have higher academic performance.

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Success of Students Who Are Participants in Mental and Physical Health Programs

Some colleges provide mental and physical health support programs for students. Belch 2011 asserts that a lack of support for students with psychiatric disabilities will result in students not persisting, and then describes various support mechanisms for such students. Ruthig, et al. 2011 finds that students who used alcoholic beverages to excess and men who smoked did not persist. Schwitzer, et al. 2018 finds that participation in counseling experiences was linked to persistence.

  • Belch, Holley A. 2011. Understanding the experiences of students with psychiatric disabilities: A foundation for creating conditions of support and success. In Fostering the increased integration of students with disabilities. Edited by Marianne S. Huger, 73–94. New Directions for Student Services 134. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    This chapter is dedicated to describing the psychiatric disabilities of some students who are enrolled in institutions of higher education. Identifies and discusses models and sources of support.

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  • Ruthig, Joelle C., Sonia Marrone, Steve Hladkyj, and Nancy Robinson-Epp. 2011. Changes in college student health: Implications for academic performance. Journal of College Student Development 52.3: 307–320.

    DOI: 10.1353/csd.2011.0038Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This study examines health perceptions and academic performance of college students. Increased engagement in exercise contributed to female students feeling more successful in their academic endeavors. Such was not true for men. Binge drinking was negatively associated with poorer course performance and less perceived success for women, but not for men. Tobacco use was associated with poorer performance for men. Includes recommendations for health promotion strategies.

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  • Schwitzer, Alan M., Catherine B. Moss, Shana L. Pribesh, et al. 2018. Students with mental health needs: College counseling experiences and academic success. Journal of College Student Development 59.1: 3–20.

    DOI: 10.1353/csd.2018.0001Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An archival study was conducted with 1,141 subjects at a metropolitan university concluded that students who participated in a recommended counseling experience were more likely to experience higher grade point averages than those who dropped out of counseling after one session.

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The Effects of Interracial Interactions on Persistence

Depending on the demographic composition of the institutions, students may or may not interact with those of different racial backgrounds. Bowman 2013 finds that students who interact with students of a different race are more likely to persist.

  • Bowman, Nicholas A. 2013. The conditional effects of interracial interactions on college student outcomes. Journal of College Student Development 54.3: 322–328.

    DOI: 10.1353/csd.2013.0026Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Data were from a national survey conducted at twenty-eight selective colleges. Interracial interactions were found to be associated with improved college student outcomes. Minority-minority interactions involve less anxiety than minority-majority interactions. Asian students were found to benefit more from interracial interactions than students from other racial groups.

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Effect of Learning Community Participation on Persistence

Learning communities often are designed as experiences that typically have students enrolled in several classes together, living together in the same residence unit, and engaging in other experiences planned by the institution. Blimling and Schuh 2015 provides a comprehensive discussion of learning in campus residence halls, often organized as learning communities. Gansemer-Topf and Tietjen 2015 provides suggestions for measuring the effectiveness of learning communities. In South Africa, institutions such as Stellenbosch University are quickly professionalizing their full-time residence hall staffs, and Groenewald and Fourie-Malherbe 2019 notes that residence hall full-time staff will need to provide leadership for student success. Graham, et al. 2018 finds modest benefits related to living on campus. Pike, et al. 2011 provides a nuanced approach to determining the effects of learning communities. Rocconi 2011 similarly finds that while learning communities facilitate student engagement, nonparticipants also experienced some educational gains. Sikhwari, et al. 2020 finds that students who lived in campus residences were more successful in passing their courses than students who were nonresidents.

  • Blimling, Gregory S., and John H. Schuh. 2015. Student learning in campus residence halls: What works, what doesn’t, and why. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

    DOI: 10.1002/9781119210795Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The authors provide a thorough description, discussion, and analysis of student learning that occurs in campus residence halls. Examples of how students learn in residence halls, how to create effective learning environments, and how to assess and improve student learning are included.

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  • Gansemer-Topf, Ann M., and Kari Tietjen. 2015. Assessing the “learning” in learning communities. In Learning communities from start to finish. Edited by Mimi Benjamin, 79–89. New Directions for Student Services 149. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    The authors report on a model assessing learning outcomes experienced by students enrolled in a learning community, namely, a program for women in science and engineering. Recommendations for assessment strategies are provided.

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  • Graham, Polly A., Sarah Socorro Hurtado, and Robert M. Gonyea. 2018. The benefits of living on campus: Do residence halls provide distinctive environments of engagement? Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice 55.3: 255–269.

    DOI: 10.1080/19496591.2018.1474752Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The study investigated full-time student responses to the NSSE from 1,238 institutions between 2013 and 2016. The results indicated that living on campus had statistically positive effects compared with living farther than walking distance from campus. Residential students had a more positive social integration than commuter students. On the other hand, there were no meaningful effects for supportive environment, time spent preparing for class, or perceived curricular gains.

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  • Groenewald, John, and Magda Fourie-Malherbe. 2019. Residence heads as intentional role-players in promoting student success. Journal of Student Affairs in Africa 7.2: 1‑14.

    DOI: 10.24085/jsaa.v7i2.3821Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The authors assert that residence hall professional staff (residence heads) need to be leaders with an intentional educational mindset promoting a holistic student success framework. This study of residence heads at Stellenbosch University in South Africa found that these staff agreed that they must play an educational role in promoting success, a finding with which student residents agreed. The authors concluded that in the future residence heads must play an educational role with professional skill sets that promote student success.

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  • Pike, Gary R., George D. Kuh, and Alexander C. McCormick. 2011. An investigation of the contingent relationships between learning community participation and student engagement. Research in Higher Education 52.3: 300–322.

    DOI: 10.1007/s11162-010-9192-1Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The authors examine learning community participation and student engagement in experiences inside and outside the classroom. Participating in a learning community was significantly and positively related to all types of student engagement that are measured by the NSSE. But learning community participation is nuanced, and the effects depend on a variety of factors, including class standing, institutional type, and the type of engagement studied.

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  • Rocconi, Louis M. 2011. The impact of learning communities on first year students’ growth and development in college. Research in Higher Education 52.2: 178–193.

    DOI: 10.1007/s11162-010-9190-3Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The study uses the College Student Experiences Questionnaire to collect data. Learning community participation was found to be strongly related to student engagement, and the relationship between learning community participation and educational gains was indirect according to this study. However, participation in a learning community is significantly and positively related to student engagement. Student engagement is strongly related to educational gains.

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  • Sikhwari, Tshimangadzo Daniel, Nkhangweleni Gloria Dama, Azwitamisi Milton Gadisi, and Tshifhiwa Christinah Matodzi. 2020. A comparative study of the academic performance of resident and non‑resident students at a rural South African university. Journal of Student Affairs in Africa 8.1: 1–12.

    DOI: 10.24085/jsaa.v8i1.3468Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The results of this study conclude that a larger percentage of resident students passed all the courses they enrolled in compared to nonresident students. The literature has shown that nonresident students are disadvantaged by several factors, such as the need to commute to the university, insufficient time to consult support resources, and less interaction with staff members and fellow students. Campus environment, student involvement as well as student academic and social integration into the institution tend to mediate, or account for, the effects of living on campus versus living off campus on academic performance. In addition, it has been shown that academic and social integration of students in institutions of higher learning is essential for students’ commitment and success and in preventing early student departure.

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Participating in Mentoring Programs

Mentoring programs have been adopted at many institutions. Mentors for students may be junior or senior students, faculty or staff, or others. They are found to facilitate student success, as Crisp, et al. 2017 concludes. A variation on mentoring programs is the use of peer educators, whereby students serve as educators for their peers. Wawrzynski, et al. 2011 examines the effects of on students of serving as peer educators and found a number of positive outcomes.

  • Crisp, Gloria, Vicki L. Baker, Kimberly A. Griffin, Laura Gail Lunsford, and Meghan J. Pifer. 2017. Mentoring undergraduate students. ASHE Higher Education Report 43.1. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

    DOI: 10.1002/aehe.20117Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Research studies on mentoring published between 2008 and 2015 are highlighted. Outcomes of mentoring relationships are discussed. Emphasis is on how mentoring can promote social justice, equity, and inclusion in higher education. Mentoring programs were found to be linked to student success.

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  • Wawrzynski, Matthew R., Carl L. LoConte, and Emily J. Straker. 2011. Learning outcomes for peer educators: The National Survey on Peer Education. In Emerging issues in peer education. Edited by Lee Burdette Williams, 17–27. New Directions for Student Services 138. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    The authors report on a national study of peer educators, focusing on the benefits for students who serve as peer educators. The researchers find gains in six learning domains. Use of the instrument developed for the study, in the opinion of the authors, will help peer educator advisers with a better understanding of outcomes associated with students’ serving as peer educators.

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Effects of Participating in Undergraduate Research Programs

A practice that is becoming increasingly common on college campuses is the undergraduate research program. Undergraduate students are engaged as research assistants with faculty as an introduction to the research process in specific academic disciplines.

  • Bridger, Amy E., and Ralph M. Ford. 2019. Undergraduate student research engagement through the open laboratory model. In Phoenix rising: Seeing tomorrow today in higher education. Edited by Annette M. Holba and Patricia T. Bahr, 57–69. New Directions for Higher Education 185. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

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    The chapter describes an approach that embeds research in the undergraduate student educational experience through a strategy known as the Open Laboratory. The Open Laboratory model attempts to bridge the gap between industry, external organizations, and academia. Student engagement in research and solving real-world problems allows them to prepare for their careers and graduate studies. The approach targets applied research problems with industrial partners. The model resulted in increases in research funding and increases in student engagement.

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Effects of Study Abroad on Student Success

Study-abroad programs for US students can range from spending a week or two overseas to a semester or longer, studying for credit, potentially developing foreign language skills, and understanding another nation’s culture. Bhatt, et al. 2022 concludes that study abroad is associated with enhanced chances for degree completion. Miller-Perrin and Thompson 2014 identifies benefits associated with various study-abroad programs, while Twombly, et al. 2012 describes students who study abroad and identifies outcomes related to study-abroad experiences. Whatley and Gonzalez Canché 2022, similarly, describes the influence of student abroad experiences on community college students’ academic outcomes. Both studies find a range in outcomes from positive to neutral for those who studied abroad.

  • Bhatt, Rachana, Angela Bell, L. Donald, Coryn Shiflet, and Leslie Hodges. 2022. Education abroad and college completion. Research in Higher Education 63.1: 987–1014.

    DOI: 10.1007/s11162-022-09673-zSave Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    According to the authors, study broad programs are somewhat controversial in that they provide positive outcomes for participants but may delay or inhibit the completion of a bachelor’s degree. This study of over 30,000 students at thirty-five institutions found that study abroad for participants is associated with an increased in the likelihood of college completion on time and an increased grade point average. Study abroad participation did not result in additional costs for the participants beyond those associated with participating in the program.

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  • Miller-Perrin, Cindy, and Don Thompson. 2014. Outcomes of global education: External and internal change associated with study abroad. In Undergraduate global education: Issues for faculty, staff, and students. Edited by Ann Highum, 77–89. New Directions for Student Services 146. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

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    External outcomes, such as second-language proficiency globalization and internal outcomes including emotional, intellectual, and spiritual growth, result from study-abroad experiences for US college students. Provides recommendations for students to enrich study-abroad experiences.

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  • Twombly, Susan B., Mark H. Salisbury, Shannon D. Tumanut, and Paul Klute. 2012. Study abroad in a new century. ASHE Higher Education Report 38.4 San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    Volume focuses on who studies abroad and the outcomes of studying aboard. Study abroad is reported as being a neutral experience for some students but results in significant gains for others. Recommends changes in current practice to broaden educational outcomes.

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  • Whatley, Melissa, and Manuel S. Gonzalez Canché. 2022. A robust estimation of the relationship between study abroad and academic outcomes among community college students. Research in Higher Education 63.2: 271–308.

    DOI: 10.1007/s11162-021-09647-7Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This single institution study focused on the extent to which participation in study abroad enhanced or inhibited two-year students’ academic outcomes. Even after controlling for a number of variables, the authors indicated that study abroad experience was a very powerful experience that enhanced students’ academic success. They asserted that study abroad has an important place in two-year education.

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Senior-Year Student Success Issues

Some students do not complete their degrees, even though they are seniors. Hunt, et al. 2012 provides an analysis of why such students do not complete their degrees. Significant work and family obligations contribute to why students do not achieve success.

  • Hunt, Patricia F., Vivian S. Boyd, Linda K. Gast, Alice Mitchell, and Wendy Wilson. 2012. Why some students leave college during their senior year. Journal of College Student Development 53.5: 737–742.

    DOI: 10.1353/csd.2012.0068Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This report examines why students leave college in their senior year and differentiates between first-generation college students and those who are non-first-generation students. The issues that contributed to withdrawal included family pressures and obligations, an average of twenty-eight hours of off-campus work per week, grades, and not feeling socially integrated into the institution. Financial concerns were more of an issue for first-generation students than for non-first-generation students.

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Effects of Service Learning on Student Success

Service learning typically is thought of as students receiving course credit for community involvement, preparing papers that reflect what they have learned from the experience, and developing civic awareness outcomes. Chesbrough 2011 examines outcomes from this experience for female and male students.

  • Chesbrough, Ronald D. 2011. College students and service: A mixed methods exploration of motivations, choices, and learning outcomes. Journal of College Student Development 52.6: 687–705.

    DOI: 10.1353/csd.2011.0071Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This study was designed to better understand learning outcomes from service involvement experiences. The study employed a mixed-methods approach. Men were more likely to consider potential outcomes of service, while women were more likely to be motivated by internal motivators. A strong, positive relationship between hours of service and such measures as cognitive development, skill development, and identity development was determined. Learning impact is maximized by adding a reflective component.

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Programs Designed to Support Student Athletes’ Success

Haslerig 2018 observes that student athletes are challenged to balance athletics and academics and their experiences, in the author’s view, may provide lessons for students who are not athletes.

  • Haslerig, Siduri. 2018. Lessons from graduate(d) student athletes: Supporting academic autonomy and achievement. In Critical issues for student athletes: Going beyond the invisible wall. Edited by Joy Gaston Gayles, 93–103. New Directions for Student Services 163. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    This chapter is centered on graduate and graduated athletes’ success, balancing athletics and academics. Implications for policy development and programmatic initiatives are provided with a special emphasis on student athletes developing academic autonomy.

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Effects of Internship and Cooperative Education Participation on Students

Bolli, et al. 2021 finds that participation in internship had a positive influence on graduates’ income. Main, et al. 2021 finds a number of positive outcomes related to participation in a cooperative education program. Zilvinskis, et al. 2020 concludes that men more likely were paid for internship participation and that pay was more robust in some disciplines than others. Women and Asian students may be at a disadvantage in internship participation.

  • Bolli, Thomas, Katherine Caves, and Maria Esther Oswald-Egg. 2021. Valuable experience: How university internships affect graduates’ income. Research in Higher Education 62.8: 1198–1247.

    DOI: 10.1007/s11162-021-09637-9Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This study examined the effects of participating in internship experiences the incomes of Swiss students. The authors found that mandatory internships had a positive influence on incomes. They believe that the study’s findings can be applied to other institutions that are part of the Bologna process.

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  • Main, Joyce B., Beata N. Johnson, and Yanbing Wang. 2021. Gatekeepers of engineering workforce diversity? The academic and employment returns to student participation in voluntary cooperative education programs. Research in Higher Education 62.4: 448–477.

    DOI: 10.1007/s11162-020-09596-7Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The report is a study of engineering students at a research-intensive university in the Midwest with a highly ranked undergraduate engineering program. The findings indicated that students who participated in voluntary co-op programs were more likely to persist through graduation, had a higher grade point average, were more likely to find a job upon graduation, and had higher starting salaries. Benefits were limited to students who completed all of their co-op program, rather than participating partially. Asian American and Hispanic/Latino engineering students were less likely to participate in co-op experiences, identified as an area of needed improvement in co-op programs.

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  • Zilvinskis, John, Jennifer Gillis, and Kelli K. Smith. 2020. Unpaid versus paid internships: Group membership makes the difference. Journal of College Student Development 61.4: 510–516.

    DOI: 10.1353/csd.2020.0042Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This study examined what aspects of student background, academic major, or intuition type related to students’ participating in paid internships. Students from twelve institutions were invited to participate in this study; the sample included 2,410 senior students. Men more likely were paid for their internships than women; students in engineering received pay while education, social service professions, and health professions interns were less likely to be paid. Asian students also were less likely to be paid for their internship. The authors suggest that additional studies need to be conducted to determine if women or Asian students are at a disadvantage in navigating internship possibilities.

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Use of Social Media to Promote Student Success

Gebre and Taylor 2022 describes a study in which Facebook is used to increase student involvement.

  • Gebre, Azeb, and Ronald D. Taylor. 2022. The association between Facebook use and student involvement: The moderating role of shyness. Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice 59.1: 1–15.

    DOI: 10.1080/19496591.2020.1784749Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This study examined the use of social networking sites will increase student involvement in academic and social activities. Data were collected from 632 students at a university in the northeastern United States. Findings led to the conclusion that social Facebook usage had significant, positive associations with social involvement and academic involvement. Social Facebook use, according to the study, may aid students in becoming academically engaged.

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Post-College Success

A discussion of student success would be incomplete without addressing the extent to which students achieve post-college outcomes identified either before or during enrollment, such as employment and managing college debt. Once students complete their college education, they enter the workforce, go to graduate school, or engage in other activities. Cataldi, et al. 2018 provides a statistical analysis of the experiences of first-generation students, and Cataldi, et al. 2017 looks at after-college outcomes, such as debt and employment. McAtee 2012 provides a description of a program to help students transition to life after college, and Mullin 2012 describes the workforce outcomes of education. Cataldi, et al. 2017 and US Department of Education 2018 compare selected experiences of those who completed college degrees with those individuals who did not complete college degrees. Giani, et al. 2020 concludes that those who attended college but did not complete their degree had an advantage in the workforce over those who did not attend college. Luo 2021 reports on the effects of active engagement in college on curricular and extracurricular activities. US Department of Education 2018 reports on credentials of labor force participants. Witteveen and Attewell 2021 concludes that those who experience a delay in time to degree earn less than students who complete their degree in four years. Wolniak and Engberg 2019 examines the post-college effects of high-impact experiences. The study had mixed results, meaning that some experiences seemed to lead to enhance post college experiences while others did not.

  • Cataldi, Emily Forrest, Christopher T. Bennett, and Xianglei Chen. 2018. First generation students: College access, persistence, and postbachelor’s outcomes. NCES 2018-421. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.

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    This study compares selected experiences of students whose parents did not attend college, attended some college, or completed college, including college attendance, persistence rates, degree completion rates, employment, and enrollment in graduate and professional programs after completing a bachelor’s degree.

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  • Cataldi, Emily Forrest, Jennie Woo, and Sandra Staklis. 2017. Four years after a bachelor’s degree: Employment, enrollment, and debt among college graduates. NCES 2017-438. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.

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    This report examines various outcomes of higher education, including the employment status, occupation, income, unemployment, additional enrollment, degree attainment, education-related borrowing, and education debt using data from various federal studies.

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  • Giani, Matt S., Attewell, Paul, and David Walling. 2020. The value of an incomplete degree: Heterogeneity in the labor market benefits of college non-completion. Journal of Higher Education 91.4: 514–539.

    DOI: 10.1080/00221546.2019.1653122Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The employment and earnings of individuals who did not access education beyond high school with those who did but did not complete a bachelor’s degree. Those who accessed college but did not complete a degree were more likely to be employed fifteen years after completing high school and tended to earn significantly more money than their counterparts who do not go on to college. The authors conclude that those who attend college but do not complete a degree have better economic outcomes than their peers who do not attend college. They further assert that that for those who do not complete a bachelor’s degree, college can be a useful experience for entry into the labor market.

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  • Luo, Jiali. 2021. Interaction across ideological boundaries and college outcomes. Journal of Higher Education 92.1: 56–83.

    DOI: 10.1080/00221546.2020.1738162Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Alumni data from three graduating cohorts were examined in this study that focused on the relationships among ideological interaction, college outcomes, and career achievements. Ideological interaction contributed to questioning their personal beliefs. Career achievements were associated with ideological interaction, including a positive association with annual earnings and life satisfaction. Active engagement in curricular and extracurricular activities had profound benefits to participants’ career and life pursuits.

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  • McAtee, Jim F. 2012. Pathway programs to life after college. In Stepping up to stepping out: Helping students prepare for life after college. Edited by George S. McClellan and Jill Parker, 29–41. New Directions for Student Services 138. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

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    This chapter provides an overview of programs that facilitate the transition from community college to four-year institutions, from undergraduate to graduate studies, from higher education to work, and from university enrollment to the military. Studies that assess the outcomes of these experiences are recommended to provide evidence of their efficacy.

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  • Mullin, Christopher. 2012. Understanding the workforce outcomes of education. In Data use in community college. Edited by Christopher M. Mullin, Trudy Bers, and Linda Serra Hagedorn, 75–88. New Directions for Institutional Research 148. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    One of the goals of many students is to obtain meaningful employment upon completing their college program of study. Sources of data related to workforce participation and data availability are identified. Employment, earnings, debt measures, and examples of other metrics are identified and challenges with measuring outcomes are described.

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  • US Department of Education. 2018. Degree and nondegree credentials help by labor force participants. NCEDS 2018-057. Washington, DC: US Department of Education.

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    This report identifies the percentage of adults in the labor force without a postsecondary degree and those with a nondegree credential who have a license, certification, or postsecondary certificate. Of those who do not hold a degree, 56 percent hold a license, 43 percent hold a postsecondary certificate, and 21 percent hold a certification. Some may hold more than one credential.

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  • Witteveen, Dirk, and Paul Attewell. 2021. Delayed time-to-degree and post-college earnings. Research in Higher Education 62.2: 230–257.

    DOI: 10.1007/s11162-019-09582-8Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Students whose graduation is delayed are just as likely to be employed, but they earn less than their peers who graduate on time (four years to degree completion). When the delay is not combined with a full-time work experience, the employees are seen as less desirable, Colleges, according to the authors, should focus on reducing the delay by providing full credit for transfer credits and resisting degrees programs that are proposed to require more than 120 credits.

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  • Wolniak, Gregory C., and Mark E. Engberg. 2019. Do “high-impact” college experiences affect early career outcomes? Review of Higher Education 42.3: 825–858.

    DOI: 10.1353/rhe.2019.0021Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This study measured the extent to which “high-impact” experiences influence early career outcomes, including earnings, as well as major fields of study, measures of institutional quality, and the extent to which high-impact experiences vary by major. ELS 2002 data were incorporated into this study. Students who participated in internships or study abroad earned more in early phases of their career, but students who participated in outside research projects earned less, though this may be due to pursuit by such individuals of a graduate degree. Institutional selectivity and college major produced larger effects on each of the outcomes more than high-impact experiences. Non-STEM majors had lower earnings than STEM majors. The authors caution that high-impact experiences should not be viewed as having a monolithic effect on all student outcomes.

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Measuring Student Outcomes

Institutions are held accountable for the various programs, services, and experiences they provide to facilitate student success. Accordingly, they have to provide analyses of the effectiveness of initiatives. Akkaraju et al. 2019 advocates for using formative assessment techniques in measuring the potential for student success. Brown and Shelley 2017 describes a possible role for offices of institutional research in determining the effectiveness of campus interventions at small colleges. Parnell, et al. 2017 identifies institutional strategies related to student success identified by use of a national survey. Pistilli 2017 provides a description of how learner analytics can be employed to strengthen student learning, an important element in student success. Terenzini 2010 is a classic article that provides suggestions and cautions for how to study student outcomes.

  • Akkaraju, Shylala, Seher Atamturktur, Laura Broughton, and Tica Frazier. 2019. Ensuring student success: Using formative assessment as the key to communication and compassion among faculty, students, and staff. In What works in assessment. Edited by Michael J. Roggow, 71–79. New Directions for Community Colleges 186. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    Formative assessment, in the authors’ opinion, can have a profound effect on a student’s disposition to learn and overall performance. Disposition traits include punctuality, attendance, and preparedness. With the help of formative assessments, poor study habits, for example, were easy to identify and correct. The authors present a collaborative program involving faculty and advisors and support services staff to assist students. Assistance provided early in students’ academic careers will help students have a reasonable chance of success.

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  • Brown, Narren J., and Mack C. Shelley II. 2017. Impact student success: Intervention effectiveness and policy development at small colleges. In Starting and sustaining meaningful institutional research at small colleges and universities: Theory and practice. Edited by Narren J. Brown, Wei-Fang Lin, Gordon J. Hewitt, and Ruth Vater, 75–87. New Directions for Institutional Research 173. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    An eight-step model of student success-focused policy development is introduced in this chapter. Institutional research offices (IR) play an important role in this model, whereby data can be used to inform stakeholders and improve practice. The authors posit that policy development is most useful in settings that allow policymakers to be adaptive and creative. They further posit that small colleges and universities can serve as incubators for ideas and practices that can be applied at larger institutions when adjusted for scale.

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  • Johnson, Gina, and Jonathan S. Gagliardi, eds. 2019. Institutional research’s role in student success. New Directions for Institutional Research 184. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

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    This volume explores ways that offices of institutional research can be expanded to inform institutions of higher education about how student success in higher education can be enriched and achieved. The elements of these expanded roles include identifying information needs and collecting, analyzing, interpreting, and reporting data and information. The offices also can educate producers on information as well as those who use and consume such information.

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  • Parnell, Amelia Jones, Wesaw Darlena, and D. Christopher Brooks. 2017. Institutions’ use of data and analytics for student success. Washington, DC: National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.

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    The authors report on a national survey of how institutional research, institutional technology, and student affairs contribute to goals for student success at their institutions. First-year students are the focus of studies examining student success. Implications and recommendations for practice are included, such as removing institutional silos, prioritizing the measurement of student outcomes, and increasing the use of qualitative data.

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  • Pistilli, Matthew D. 2017. Learner analytics and student success interventions. In Learning analytics in higher education. Edited by John Zilvinskis and Victor Borden, 43–52. New Directions for Higher Education 179. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    Learner analytics identifies variables contributing to risks faced by student learners and assists in identifying interventions that may alleviate these risks. Learner analytics are designed to provide the right information to learners at appropriate times so that learning improves. These interventions are built on faculty-student interaction, and suggestions for making such interaction effective are provided.

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  • Terenzini, Patrick T. 2010. Assessment with open eyes: Pitfalls in studying student outcomes. In Assessing student outcomes—why, who, what, how? Edited by J. Fredericks Volkwein, 29–46. New Directions for Institutional Research, Assessment Supplement. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    This publication, originally published by the Journal of Higher Education, offers observations and recommendations about assessing student outcomes. Definitional issues, organizational and implementation issues, and methodological issues are discussed in detail. Suggestions for practice are included.

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  • Young, Fanny P. F., and A. Falluca. 2017. Systems for documenting student experiences and outcomes. In Current issues and opportunities in student affairs assessment. Edited by Hyun Kyoung Ro and Cassandra Harper, 11–23. New Directions for Institutional Research 175. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

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    Two cases studies are employed to illustrate how institutions can build systems to facilitate holistic conversations about the impact of student involvement in curricular and co-curricular programs and connect these efforts to enhance student learning, retention, and graduation rates. Colleges and universities can measure high-impact practices and engagement and connect them to student success.

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Online Resources

Five websites that include references to books, articles, and monographs are provided in this section. The Higher Education Research Institute & Cooperative Institutional Research Program (HERI) includes reports related to student expectations of their college experience and the outcomes of their experiences over fifty years. It is a superb resource for those interested in how student values and expectations have evolved over time. Inside Higher Ed provides a daily online bulletin of information, Inside Higher Education Student Success Online, that discusses and describes student success initiatives. The most comprehensive is the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA), which provides reports and other publications related to student learning. National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) provides reports that relate to the use of the instruments under the NSSE umbrella. Some of the reports of the Lumina Foundation focus on Americans’ success in higher education.

Abstracting Services

Three services are identified that abstract a variety of publications. The ERIC (Education Resources Information Center) service is especially comprehensive and useful as a place to start a search for resources. Higher Education Abstracts includes articles that cover a wide range of topics related to higher education, some of which cover student success. Inside Higher Education Student Success Online (cited under Online Resources), an online service, has a daily information bulletin related to student success. Research into Higher Education Abstracts also covers a wide range of topics and provides abstracts of articles published in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

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