Examining the Effect, a First Year Experience Course has on Community College Student Persistence

No Thumbnail Available
Nieman, Stacey
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Middle Tennessee State University
Persistence, along with retention and completion initiatives, are the focus of institutions of higher education, especially community colleges. There are initiatives that focus on student success that start at orientation and revolve around connecting the student to the college. Students often arrive on campus with a minimal understanding of the what the next two-years at the community college will involve and student success initiatives help students learn how to navigate this journey. The concept of the First-Year Experience Course allows for students to dive deeper into the college experience by learning about time management, organization, campus resources, career exploration, and self-reflection. This study investigated the effect the First-Year Experience course had on student persistence at Volunteer State Community College, a two-year institution located in Gallatin, Tennessee. The research examined archived data provided by the Research, Assessment, and Special Initiatives department. Multiple Chi-square analysis were performed using the variables: completion of the First-Year Experience Course, age, race, and gender to determine their association on student persistence. The completion of the First-Year Experience Course, as well as age, did not have an association with persistence. However, there was a significant association between race and gender on student persistence. Based on the results of this study, further examinations of the First-Year Experience course and persistence should be completed in the context of a qualitative research design to allow for a narrative description of student experiences as it pertains to persistence. Additionally, the recommendations for future research and practical applications include increasing the sample to include all community colleges within the state to provide a larger representation of students.
Higher education