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National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition

Publication Details

The impact of a first-year experience course on the academic performance, persistence, and graduation rates of first-semester college students at a public research university


Author(s): Lang, D. J.

Citation: Lang, D. J. (2007). The impact of a first-year experience course on the academic performance, persistence, and graduation rates of first-semester college students at a public research university. Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition, 19(1), 9-25.

 

Abstract

This study assessed the impact of a first-year experience course on the academic performance, persistence, and graduation rates of first-semester college students enrolled at a public research university in fall 1998. Two groups of first-year college students were matched according to their gender, race, SAT score, high school GPA, and intended program of study. Comparisons indicated that first-year experience course completers achieved a higher mean GPA in their first semester than those of similar academic potential who chose not to take the elective course. Moreover, course completers persisted to their second, third, and fourth semesters at greater rates than the group of nonparticipants. Likewise, first-year experience course completers graduated within four, five, and six years of study at higher rates than their nonparticipant counterparts. Consequently, the first-year experience course had an overall positive impact on the academic performance, persistence, and graduation rates of the first-semester students in this study.

 

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