Early alert in community college: Student success, persistence, and retention in developmental courses

Colleen Simpson, Fordham University

Abstract

Community colleges struggle to support, retain, and graduate the growing numbers of academically underprepared students at the college. The purpose of this mixed method study was to explore the impact of an early alert initiative on first-time, full-time, degree-seeking students enrolled in developmental courses at a community college. The study included non-random assignment of selected students to the early alert group and the non-early alert group. Quantitative data were collected ex post facto to determine whether a difference existed in the success rate, semester-to-semester persistence rate, and 1-year retention rate of students in the early alert group versus the non-early alert group. The study included use of both descriptive and inferential statistics. Descriptive statistics showed a negative difference between the early alert group and the non-early alert group along the dimensions of success and persistence, but a positive difference in retention. Overall, the differences were not statistically significant. Qualitative data collection took place by reviewing historical reports and documented analysis of college communications. The themes that emerged from the qualitative data were used to deepen the understanding of the quantitative data. The qualitative results indicated the need for community colleges to improve communication outreach, build a sense of community for students, review technology support systems, and increase faculty participation. ^

Subject Area

Education, Community College|Education, Evaluation|Education, Higher

Recommended Citation

Simpson, Colleen, "Early alert in community college: Student success, persistence, and retention in developmental courses" (2014). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3620377.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3620377

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