Wednesday, January 17, 2 pm to 3 pm
023 Dunbar Library
Led by Christy Strauss, Mélie Lewis, & Robert Terry of The University of Oklahoma. While academic factors such as high school GPA and ACT and SAT scores significantly contribute to higher education success, there are often significant gaps in their ability to predict college retention. Research suggests a number of social and psychological factors can be used to improve the predictive ability of purely academic model. The present study will examine the contribution of five psychosocial factors in predicting first-to-second year college retention: financial concerns, academic engagement, institutional commitment, grit, and growth mindset. This study examined data from the 2014 New Student Survey, a survey distributed to all incoming freshmen at the University of Oklahoma. Factor analytic techniques were used to organize survey questions into valid measures of the factors of interest. Finally, these constructs were explored in a regression model to study the extent to which they are predictive of retention, both singularly and among other well-known academic predictors. Results of a logistic regression suggest that students with higher academic engagement and lower financial concerns had a significantly higher probability of retention when taking into account academic factors.