Academic First-Year Seminar: Four-Year Retention and Graduation for All First-Time Students and Students at Additional Risk
Author(s): Graham, M., Wayne, I., Moore, S. M., & Coffey, B., & Vaughan, A. L.
Citation: Graham, M., Wayne, I., Moore, S. M., & Coffey, B., & Vaughan, A. L. (2023). Academic First-Year Seminar: Four-Year Retention and Graduation for All First-Time Students and Students at Additional Risk. Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition, 35(1), 111-127.
The purpose of this study was to assess differences in four-year persistence and graduation rates between students who participated in a research-based academic first-year seminar (n = 385) and a matched quasi-control group who did not (n = 385). Although research has consistently identified positive outcomes for students who participate in these seminars, the research is often based on short-term outcomes or the analysis is less rigorous or reliable. Propensity score matching was used to determine the two groups, and Mantel-Haenszel tests were used to determine any significant differences in the outcomes. Results showed statistically significant differences in persistence and graduation rates for first-generation students and students of color compared to nonparticipating students. Some of these differences were greater than 20%. Although the difference was not statistically significant, conditionally admitted students also showed higher rates of persistence and graduation.