First Advisor

Candyce Reynolds

Term of Graduation

Winter 2020

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership: Postsecondary Education


Educational Leadership




Seminars -- Evaluation, College dropouts -- Prevention -- Evaluation, College teachers, College freshmen, College student development programs -- Evaluation



Physical Description

1 online resource (viii, 210 pages)


Each fall first-year college students have met and overcome many challenges and transitions. However, one-third of first-year students who enter college in the U.S. do not return for their second-year. Making the first-year a critical juncture for students, administrators, and institutions. First-Year Seminars were created to help assist students with their transition to college and have been identified as an effective initiative to aid in first-year retention.

What role do institutions play in addressing the issue of retention? Some say that those who teach the Seminars matter. The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship among Seminar characteristics and instructor type. Ultimately, the goal is to further administrators' understanding of how Seminar characteristics and who is teaching them are associated.

This study used the theoretical frameworks: Student Departure, Marginality and Mattering, Student Involvement, and Engagement. In addition the Input-Environment-Output model was included. Using the secondary data from the 2009 Survey on First-Year Seminars which reported Seminar program characteristics by administrators, the researcher conducted Chi-Pearson analysis to explore the relationships among Seminar characteristics and instructor type.

There were statistically significant results that indicated that there were relationships among some of the Seminar program characteristics and who taught the Seminar. These results further indicated that administrators looking to enhance their first-year retention rates need to explore specific Seminar characteristics along with instructor type to better address challenges of first-year retention.


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