- Analysis of Students Who Take More Than 2 Courses Or More Than 9 Credits In Session II
In this report we examine the academic record of students who took more than two courses or nine equated credits, contrary to normal LaGuardia policy (most had permission, however). These students represent only 3% of all students taking Session 2 courses. We examined the GPA of students enrolled in the 2010-11 academic year. These students, who self-select for a high course or credit load in Session 2, appear to be doing well academically, while earning more credits and moving closer to graduation.
- Efficient Progress toward Degree -- Credits Not Required for Graduation by Major
In this report we found that 20% of the students registered for LaGuardia classes in Spring 2012 had registered for at least one course that did not fulfill any of their degree requirements, according to the DegreeWorks data fields. In this report we show the proportion of students who are taking non-required courses within each academic major.
- The Impact of Slower Academic Progress in One Semester
In this study we looked at a group of students who began together as a freshmen cohort and made steady progress, but some of whom then slowed down. Even though all students had earned at least 30 credits after three semesters, those who then earned fewer than 12 credits in their fourth semester (but more than zero), were 16% less likely to either be retained or graduate in the fifth semester. Slowing down may be a sign of approaching difficulty for some students.
- The Relationship between Student Time Allocation Decisions and Outcomes
This paper describes an interactive model that simulates retention data from LaGuardia Community College and the College of Staten Island. The model mathematically mimics the findings in Michalowski’s interview-based research on LaGuardia students: 1) Stressful life events happen to everyone at about the same rate; 2) A low level of preparation makes it harder to stay in college and graduate; 3) Students who experience an intervention are more likely to graduate; and 4) The more a student studies, the more likely it is that the student will graduate. The model may be used to help students and advisors understand the relationship between time spent studying, working and seeking help and probabilities of graduation.
- Class Absence, GPA and Returning Next Semester
This report presents the relationships between absence rates, GPA and next semester return rates. We show that rates of absence from classes negatively correlate with GPA for those college-level classes in which attendance was regularly taken. Rates of absence and GPA separately and together predict whether a student will return for the next semester. In fact, GPA and absence rate combined predict return rates quite well. Non-return is very well predicted by very high rates of absence and low GPA, but few students in any semester are in that category. When GPA is high and absence rates low, non-academic factors still come into play and predicting retention is compromised.
- When Do Students Drop/Stop Out: After Completing the Semester or During the Semester?
In this study we examine the last date of attendance of students in the Fall 2011 semester who failed to return for the Spring 2012 semester (and who did not graduate or transfer). The results show that the great majority of students decide to stop attending after the end of the semester. Loses during the semester are smaller, but not trivial, however.
- Financial and Other Pressures Preventing Attendance
In this study we demonstrate that students who eventually dropout are much more likely in any given semester to be taking one or more semesters off in their academic careers, compared to those who eventually graduate. Stopping out and attending part-time appear to be symptoms of pressures that will eventually prevent a student from graduating. A third symptom that may also be related to the amount of time available for school and studying is cumulative GPA. We also show how financial pressures appear to be a primary motivating force for students to stop out.
- The Connection Between Graduation and GPA, Part-time Attendance and Stopping Out
For this study we asked students why they had not registered for the coming semester, three weeks in advance of the first day of classes. We targeted students who were enrolled in the current semester. Approximately half who did not intend to register gave finances as the primary reason. About one-quarter had difficulties with LaGuardia, and another one-quarter had academic or life challenges beyond LaGuardia.
- High GPA Students Leaving LaGuardia
This report examines the one-semester return rate of enrolled degree students with GPAs greater than or equal to 3.00. We found that in every semester around 15% of this high GPA students did not return in the follow semester and never graduated.
- Help-Seeking Behavior and Predictions of Retention
At LaGuardia, most entering students are asked to take an initial questionnaire to identify areas in which they need extra help. The survey results can be used to shape and implement intervention efforts. In this paper we study the impact of help-seeking behavior on students' retention. After controlling for demographic variations and academic preparation, we found that students more willing to ask for assistance were more likely to be retained to the following semesters. Help-seeking was also positively associated with other longer-term retention predictors, such as grade point average and first semester credits earned.
- Presentation: Time is the Enemy: Why Developmental Students Do Not Graduate
In this video we compare students who are required to take differing numbers of developmental or pre-college-level (non-degree) courses. The more courses a student must take at the developmental level, the less likely the student is to graduate. We tested several theories as to why this might be. We found that developmental students do not drop out any faster than non-developmental students, nor do they have lower GPA's. They do, however, take longer to accumulate credits toward a degree, exposing them to the same problems that all our students face each semester on their way to graduation. The longer the path, the higher the exposure.
- Employment and Wage Patterns of Enrolled LaGuardia Students
In this study we looked at New York State Department of Labor wage records of LaGuardia students. Among LaGuardia degree students beginning as freshmen, employment and constant dollar wages fell from 2004 to 2012, when the number of semester enrolled at LaGuardia was held constant. Nevertheless, students who began as freshmen became increasingly more likely to be employed, and they appeared to work more hours, the longer they attended LaGuardia. Students who were not working appeared more likely to graduate in any given semester.
- An Analysis of Return Rates by Whether First-Year Freshmen Passed or Failed Particular Courses, 2007-2012
In this paper we look at differences in drop-out rates (defined as not returning the following fall semester) among first-year students by first-year courses taken. We first looked for courses with high numbers of students who dropped out after taking each course and high numbers of students who dropped out after failing the course. We then looked for courses where the rate of dropping out was high after failing the course, indicating that course failure was somehow communicating to students that they should not be in college. We also looked at these rates normalized after deducting the rate for those who passed the course. We also re-ran the rates excluding failures where the student stopped attending and received a WU, failing grade. While freshman seminar and developmental course failure lead to large numbers of students dropping out, introductory courses in the humanities and social sciences had the highest net rates of drop out after failure. These courses may be particularly disheartening for students to fail.
- Background Radiation: Doing Well at LaGuardia and Dropping Out
Challenges that students face because of prior academic preparation and time availability to study for and attend classes add greatly to the probability of dropping out, especially in the first two semesters. Even students not facing any of these challenges are dropping out in later semesters at a rate that approaches seven percent of the remaining cohort each semester. This study examines true drop outs, excluding early transfers and stop outs from those considered to be dropping out. First-time students with a higher GPA, going full-time and not needing any developmental courses were considered to be "doing well."
- Drop Out Warning Signs
Most students at LaGuardia exhibit warning signs that they are under the sorts of stresses that can cause them to drop out. This essay details some of these warning signs and measures the retention rates associated with them singly and in combination. Improving retention may rest on how systematically the college is able to respond to these symptoms of stress. The warning signs studied include: skipping orientation, registering in the last few weeks before the start of the semester, avoiding freshman seminar, attending part-time, being absent from all classes, lower GPA, and not receiving financial aid after receiving it in the previous semester.
- Late Registration and Student Success (GPA)
In this study the connection between late registration behavior and lower term GPA is demonstrated after controlling for demographic and time variables.
- Delayed and Late Registration Counts
In this study the numbers of students continuing to register late is demonstrated.
- As Each Week of Registration Passes
In this paper we look at the probability that a student will not return if they have not yet registered by week during the registration period for Spring 2015. As registration continues, the concentration of non-returning students increases in the not-yet-registered pool. By the tenth week of registration, more than half the not-yet registered students will not return. These statistics have implications for “last ditch” retention efforts. Any outreach program targeted to not-yet-registered students has a high probability of finding a student intent on discontinuing his or her schooling.
- Day and Evening Attendance and Return Rates
In this analysis we examine whether return rate varied by when students took classes. Evening only students appeared to have a disadvantage until we controlled for part-time status. Even after controlling for part-time status, however, men who took only evening classes and were part-time had a lower return rate than day only part-time, male students. We postulate that this disadvantage may result from the lower help-seeking characteristic of men and the lesser availability of services in the evening.
- Return Rate F15 to F16
Fifty-nine percent of the Fall 2015 degree students who did not graduate either Fall 2015 or Spring 2016 returned for classes in Fall 2016. In this paper we show the return rates for various categories of students. Lower return rates are seen for part-time, male, and new students. Students who owed money to the college at the end of Fall 2015 also had some of the lowest return rates.
- Students Who Drop Out So Effectively that They Don't Count as Students
In this study we show the large number of students who withdraw from all course at the beginning of the semester. In this study we attempt to show the timing of student decisions to leave college.
- SEMS 2015-16 Usage Report
In this report we explore data generated by the SEMS (Student Enrollment Management System), the college’s office check-in system. Each check-in generates a “ticket.” The tickets analyzed were generated during the academic year 2015-16. The report answers questions like: How many students visited a particular office or lab? How long was the average visit? What was their return rate to the next semester? What was the most common reason for the visit? What “Reasons” are associated with the lowest return rates?
- Some Notes on Momentum
In this paper we examine a number of possible definitions of momentum. In terms of course load, the paper notes that the decline in load comes almost entirely from ceasing to take developmental courses after the initial semesters. The average student takes about three three-credit college level courses each semester with no decline in college-level load.
- Course Failures
This paper gives data on course failure by level (31% of all below-100 level courses end in failure), credit load of the courses, department, credit load of the student, and student major. During Fall 2015 and Spring 2016, 16% of all course attempts ended in failure. The data on student credit load gives some weight to the argument that students should take heavier loads, although the causality is not clear. If students are making decisions about how to balance the demands of their lives and pass courses, then students taking heavier loads are making better decisions.
- A Simple Predictor of Next Semester Retention: Passing Courses
This paper demonstrates the connection between passing classes and one-semester return (or graduation). Only 29% of students who failed to pass any classes returned, while 90% of students who passed four classes returned the next semester. Return is less sensitive to the proportion of classes passed than it is to the number passed.
- Towards a Comprehensive Model of Community College Student Progress - The Role of Critical Junctures
In this study we develop the results of 50 interviews of students who dropped out, stopped out or changed from full-time to part-time attendance. The study documents the kinds of pressures that caused students to lower their enrollment intensity. While all students described on-going pressures, in many cases a crisis event precipitated the need to decrease time at school. These events are called critical junctures. The study notes that many of these critical junctures are viewed by these students as problems created by LaGuardia.
- Momentum Absorbers: Measuring the Impact of Part-time, Course Failure, Basic Skills, Stopping Out, and Moot Courses
In this paper we show that the primary reasons that students do not earn 15 degree credits each semester are 1) attending part-time, 2) taking developmental courses, and 3) failing degree courses. We show that stopping out and taking moot courses have a much smaller impact.