Publication Date

Fall 2018

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Barbara Burch (Director), Pamela Petty, and Lynne Holland

Degree Program

Department of Educational Leadership

Degree Type

Doctor of Education


First-year students are at a higher risk of dropping out of college; therefore, student retention and success are at risk. The purpose of this study is to find statistically significant differences among five demographic variables: (1) first college semester hours earned; (2) first college semester GPA; (3) ACT composite score; (4) high school GPA; and (5) first-generation college students and the 10 Learning and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI) subscales: Anxiety, Attitude, Concentration, Information Processing, Motivation, Selecting Main Ideas, Self-Testing, Test Strategies, Time Management, and Using Academic Resources, to better determine how to help students be more successful. The LASSI instrument was the chosen tool for research because of its ability to assess strengths and weaknesses for students in the college environment and the value of courses.

Nine significant relationships were found among the five demographic variables and four of the LASSI subscales: Motivation, Selecting Main Ideas, Time Management, and Test Strategies. Students who entered college with higher high school GPA still needed support systems to enable their success and persistence in college, especially in the subscale of Motivation. The ACT composite middle range of 16-18 showed a need for support in the subscales, Motivation, Selecting Main Ideas, and Test Strategies. For first semester GPA (middle range 1.48-2.40), students were in the most need of improvement in Motivation, Selecting Main Ideas, and Time Management, whereas students taking the 16-18 hours were in the most need of improvement in Selecting Main Ideas and Time Management.


Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Higher Education | Higher Education and Teaching | Secondary Education | Secondary Education and Teaching