Mona Casady, author of Getting the College Edge and Director of Continuous Orientation at Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield, MO, conducts a Survey of Freshman (which can be found in the Instructor's Resource Manual to accompany Getting the College Edge on pages 113-116) to determine the impact of various factors on students who have completed their first term in college. Within the last two weeks of the term, all sections of the college success (first-year experience) course fill out the Survey of Freshman. Data obtained from the freshmen includes their academic load, employment, attendance, use of campus resources, involvement in campus activities, and changes in abilities since the first week of the term. In addition to summarizing and comparing results from year to year, a comparison is made to the last five years of the fall term, the last five years of the spring term and the average of the last two fall terms with that of the last two spring terms. This information from over 15,000 first-year students guides the Continuous Education program at SMSU in improving the course and in adapting the course to student needs.
Since fall 1997 the data has been analyzed to determine statistical significance of cross correlations. In addition to the data provided by the questionnaire, we add a line item that identifies the number of times the student was absent from the freshman success class. When the instructors turn in their grades, they report on a duplicate class roster the number of absences for each student. The statistical significance of cross correlations is run after the term grades have been computer. To do the cross analysis you must have the students' identification so you link to their grads. Instructors and peer leaders us e this information to help freshmen maximize their potential GPA achievement. For assistance you can contact Mona Casady via College Survival at csweb.Collegesurvival@cengage.com.
To review the Fall-to-Fall Retention Rates from Southwest Missouri State University, click here.