College StudentsStudent PersistenceActive Learning

Resources

Conference Papers and Presentations


AIR 2010

Don Hossler, Afet Dadashova, & Mary Ziskin (Indiana University) and Jerome A. Lucido & Scott Andrew Schulz (University of Southern California)

This presentation provides results from a national survey on how colleges and universities organize themselves to improve student retention. The study covers a broad-scale descriptive view of campus retention efforts while exploring how these efforts influence student persistence across multiple institutional contexts. Survey results reflect the scope and form of the resources and programs four-year colleges and universities devote to improving student retention and also provide evidence on the association of institutional policies and practices with important student success outcomes at the institution level.


College Board National Forum 2009

Don Hossler (Indiana University) and Jerome A. Lucido (University of Southern California)

This presentation outlines the findings from the 2009 administration of the College Board Survey of Institutional Retention Practices conducted at four-year institutions nationwide. Highlighted findings include data on coordination of retention efforts and other institutional policies and practices that affect student persistence.


AIR 2009

Don Hossler, John Moore, Mary Ziskin, & Gary Pike

In this presentation, we report results from a study exploring the linkages between campus policy and student persistence at a metropolitan university. We focus on one participating institution from the Pilot Study on Student Retention and explore in particular how survey results help us to understand the persistence decisions of first-year students and of students classified as sophomores or juniors. Of particular interest to institutional researchers, results suggest that this approach can be used to understand how institutional practices play a role in the persistence of students after the first year and beyond.


Strategies for Success, a conference sponsored by the College Board and the University of Texas at Austin, January 9, 2009

Jacob P.K. Gross, Don Hossler, & Mary Ziskin

Lessons learned for campus administrators and policy makers on what they can do to support student persistence at their institutions. Recommendations stem from major research projects based in Indiana and nationally that seek to understand how institutions organize themselves to promote retention.


ASHE 2008

John V. Moore III, Don Hossler, Mary Ziskin, & Phoebe K. Wakhungu

Using results from the second year of a pilot study of student retention, this paper examines the development and use of factors based on Braxton’s institutional policy levers. Findings indicate that although policy lever factors are consistent across institutions, their utility in predicting the retention of individual students is limited. This is likely due to the highly contextualized and complex nature of persistence. Future directions for this research are discussed.


AIR 2008

Don Hossler, Mary Ziskin, John V. Moore III, & Phoebe K. Wakhungu

Looking across institutions with diverse missions, student demographics, and geographic locations, this paper examines how students’ experiences with institutional policies and practices affect student persistence. Additionally, the paper discusses the process of designing and revising the pilot study’s survey instrument through the first two years of this effort.


College Board Forum 2007

Don Hossler & Mary Ziskin (Indiana University) & Paul Orehovec (University of Miami)

This presentation begins with a general overview of the research literature on the role institutions play in the retention of their students through campus policies and practices that influence students’ experiences and persistence decisions. Research underway in the College Board Pilot Study on Student Retention is discussed, including preliminary findings and suggested directions in the search for policy-relevant insights into how campuses can intervene to positively influence student persistence.

This handout provides a brief description of the goals of the project and its research strategy, which includes an institutional survey, a student survey, and collection of students’ enrollment data for analysis of student persistence.


AIR 2007

Don Hossler, Mary Ziskin, Sooyeon Kim, Jacob P.K. Gross

In this presentation, we report results from a pilot study on the practices, resources, and programs that colleges and universities devote to improving student retention. A survey of four-year institutions in five state contexts--California, Georgia, Indiana, New York, and Texas--asked respondents to report on participation rates, programs, and policies related to student persistence, and on first-to-second-year retention rates.

Don Hossler, Mary Ziskin, Phoebe Wakhungu, John Moore

In this presentation we discuss results from a pilot effort to develop a policy oriented student retention survey. Based on results from eight campuses, our discussion examines the potential of the College Board Pilot Study student survey, lessons learned in the first year, and implications for institutional practice and theory development in this area. Institution-specific factor analyses and logistic regressions on persistence are reviewed.


ASHE 2006

Mary Ziskin, Jacob P. K. Gross, and Don Hossler

In this paper, we explore how actionable institutional practices and structures, in combination with student behaviors, play a role in students’ institutional commitment and intent to persist at the end of the first year of college. We use logistic regression to examine the influence that student characteristics, social integration, and academic integration experiences have on college students’ intent to persist.


College Board Annual Forum 2006

Don Hossler, Mary Ziskin, and Jacob P. K. Gross

A panel of researchers and campus administrators involved in this project presented results from the College Board Pilot Study on Student Retention.  The panel focused on analyses of survey data, discussed implications for student persistence, and also considered the potential future use of the surveys developed for this study.


AACRAO 16th Annual Strategic Enrollment Management Conference

Don Hossler, Jacob P. K. Gross, and Mary Ziskin

Although considerable research exists on factors affecting student persistence, little work exists that relates significant factors to institutional policies and practice. This presentation highlights results of a pilot study intended to connect research to institutional practice in a way that informs campus practitioners and policy makers.


Special Reports & Publications

Don Hossler, Mary Ziskin, & Jacob P.K. Gross

Published in the journal About Campus and available at the website of Wiley InterScience at:
http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/122214074/PDFSTART

Drawing on their experiences in and findings from two distinct but complementary research projects that focus on institutional efforts to enhance student persistence and graduation, the Indiana Project on Academic Success and the College Board Study on Student Retention, the authors share their growing understanding of how institutions organize themselves to enhance student persistence and the extent and effectiveness of those efforts. This article can contribute to the ongoing discussion among scholars and practitioners around the country about how to increase persistence and graduation and, by extension, to improve student learning.

 

Most of the relevant research on this crucial issue has focused on the role of student characteristics and experience in persistence and graduation. This study examines the critical role of institutional policies and practices in student persistence and graduation and how that role develops and is enacted in institutions’ efforts to boost these measures of student success.

 
Jacob P.K. Gross, Don Hossler, & Mary Ziskin
Published in the NASFAA Journal of Student Financial Aid and available at the website of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators at:
http://www.nasfaa.org/Annualpubs/Journal/Vol37N1/GrossHosslerandZiskin.PDF

Although billions of dollars are disbursed each year in institutional aid, much of the research to date on student persistence does not consider such aid. The authors of this study used a statewide student unit record database to examine the effects of institutional financial aid on year-to-year persistence among first-time, first-year students at three large doctorate-granting public universities.

 

Related Work by the Project on Academic Success

The following reports and papers are not based on data collected through the College Board Pilot Study on Student Retention. They represent research on student retention that the Project on Academic Success has conducted using a statewide student unit record database.

Edited by Don Hossler, Jacob P.K. Gross, & Mary Ziskin
with commentary from series editor, Edward P. St. John, who developed the IPAS model and was the project’s founding director. Available for order from AMS Press, Inc., at http://www.amspressinc.com/ree.html

This volume in the Readings on Equal Education series discusses the research and program evaluation activities of the Indiana Project on Academic Success (IPAS), a collaborative effort with postsecondary institutions that used action research to identify and evaluate interventions to enhance student success and that developed and employed a state student information database to facilitate education research and to inform campus- and state-level decision making. The authors reflect on lessons learned from the IPAS initiative and examine its impact on participating institutions and individuals.

 
Jacob P.K. Gross, Afet Dadashova, John Moore, & Mary Ziskin
2009 AIR Annual Forum, Atlanta, GA

Following a discussion of the persistent issues related to missing data in statistical research, the various types of missing data, and the strategies for dealing with missing data, this presentation outlines the design, results, recommendations, and statistical implications of a study that used expectation maximization (EM) algorithm imputation as a strategy for addressing missing data.

 
Jacob P.K. Gross, Don Hossler, & Mary Ziskin
Published in the NASFAA Journal of Student Financial Aid and available at the website of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators at:
http://www.nasfaa.org/Annualpubs/Journal/Vol37N1/GrossHosslerandZiskin.PDF

Although billions of dollars are disbursed each year in institutional aid, much of the research to date on student persistence does not consider such aid. The authors of this study used a statewide student unit record database to examine the effects of institutional financial aid on year-to-year persistence among first-time, first-year students at three large doctorate-granting public universities.

 
Don Hossler, Mary Ziskin, Jacob Gross, Sooyeon Kim, & Osman Cekic
Published by Springer in Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research, Vol. 24, and available at the SpringerLink online database at:
http://www.springerlink.com/content/hl22841kk213m1p1/fulltext.pdf

To synthesize current understandings of how financial aid affects undergraduate persistence and graduation, the authors conducted an extensive review of studies published since 1990 in this area. They identify how the studies were conducted as well as the summative knowledge from them of the effects of grants and loans on persistence and graduation; the specific effects on persistence and graduation of merit aid, loans, and programmatic elements; and the effects of debt on student success outcomes.

 
Mary Ziskin, Don Hossler, & Sooyeon Kim
Published in the Journal of College Student Retention and available at the website of the Baywood Publishing Company at:
http://baywood.metapress.com/app/home/main.asp?referrer=default

Using literature and illustrations drawn from a pilot study of institutional policies and practices surrounding student retention, the authors explore the theoretical and methodological challenges entailed in the study of student retention. The discussion centers on two efforts to expand the theoretical base and scope for research in this area: one argues that colleges and universities are optimizers of cultural capital and the other critiques the narrowness of the frames that predominate student retention research.

 
Don Hossler, Jacob P. K. Gross, and Mary Ziskin

Most of the studies that have considered the effects of financial aid on persistence have only had access to the amounts of state and federal financial aid awarded to students. These studies typically lack data elements for campus-based financial aid awards. As a result, institutional and public policy makers know little about the effects of campus-based aid on student persistence and graduation. Using an integrated state database for public four-year institutions, this study examines the unique effects of campus-based financial aid on student departure.

 

Using independent samples of Hispanic, African American, and White students in Indiana higher education, this report examines the factors that affect persistence in higher education for each group separately.

 

In AY 2000, nearly 40,000 first-year students in Indiana attended college part time. This brief explores part-time enrollment and persistence in Indiana, comparing two levels of part-time and full-time enrollment. Enrollment intensity was found to be associated with persistence, as was receiving financial aid. Sixty percent of part-time students did not apply for financial aid. First-year part-time college students with a “C” GPA in high school were more likely to persist than students with a “B” GPA.