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Hmmm, direct effect on retention?  In order to prove causal impact you would need to control for many variables, which is difficult (actually impossible) to accomplish with human behavior.  Dr. Tom Miller, our VP for Student Affairs, has a statistical model that helps identify the weight of different student variables on persistence.  It has been used in several institutions to "predict" which students might not persist so that interventions can be planned.  It might be helpful for you to consider. 

In the meantime, we have been having similar conversations in our center this summer about what data matters.  We have several data analyses underway.  I have the luxury of a very talented doctoral student in educational measurement so we have a unique opportunity to dig deeper into the data. 

Because we are very large, Research I institution, when we compared tutored to non-tutored students the number of non-tutored students and their mean grades overshadow any potential tutoring effect.  My Statistics doc student is also working on creating a "matched set" of non-tutored students to compare to the tutored students.  This would be a more robust analysis.  Stay tuned for the results.  

However we are looking more deeply at the tutored students and their grades.  For example, in Gen Chem 1 students who visited our drop in tutoring center 7 or more times increased their chance of receiving an A by 17% and increased their  chance of earning a B or higher by 28%.  Generally higher grades lead to stronger persistence rates. We will be examining the data from several other drop in areas to determine if this result is consistently reliable. 

Grades and pass rates are the connection to retention.  Students who don't pass at the right level cannot persist, so proving that our services positively  impact grades and pass-rates has been the key.  This data has been very helpful in our ability to prove our worth to administration from the start. Our goal now is to make sure the results remain  stable (or increase) over time (reliability).

Pat
 
Patricia A. Maher, Ph. D.
Director, Academic Success Center
University of South Florida
4202 E. Fowler Ave.
LIB122
Tampa, FL  33620
813-974-5141
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-----Original Message-----
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Alvin MaddenGrider
Sent: Thursday, May 28, 2015 8:43 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Retention Study

Rachel,

As Dr. Seuss once said, "Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple."

It is impossible to discern the effect tutoring has on retention.  

Impossible.

I don't care who says otherwise, there are just too many factors involved in whether students stay or not.

That said, we do what we can to help our administrators and others see our relevance.  Attached you will find my feeble efforts toward this goal.  

It is just a straightforward correlation of retention figures for first-year full-time students who were tutored versus retention for those not tutored.    Because Kentucky is a state under 1960s court mandate to improve higher education access for minorities, I also included the correlation for under-represented minority students.

I am currently working on a multi-year analysis of just straightforward correlation for 2011-2013 FYFT cohorts. I hope I can send that to anyone interested later this summer.

When I presented the attached to administrators, I pointed out the weaknesses of such a study.  One administrator told me that I under-sold our effectiveness.  So much for being honest about research, but they were still impressed.

The charts were better for most administrative-types to grasp "effectiveness".  If anyone has any great ideas on how to present such material visually, let me know.

If you have any questions about any of this, let me know.


Alvin

Gentry Alvin Madden-Grider
Learning Strategies Coordinator
University College
606-783-5181
Allie Young 215

"Those who do not study are only cattle dressed up in men's clothes." -- Confucius (551-479 BC)

This e-mail, including any attachments, is intended only for the use of the individual to whom it is addressed and may contain confidential information that is legally privileged and exempt from disclosure under applicable law. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, you are notified that any review, use, disclosure, distribution or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this email in error, please notify me immediately.
________________________________________
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals [[log in to unmask]] on behalf of Rachel E. Lieberman [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Thursday, May 28, 2015 8:15 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Retention Study

Hi all,

I'd like to create a study for my Peer Tutoring Center which focuses on retention, and whether or not we're making an impact in that area. I think if the results are positive, it could speak even louder than a study that focuses on grades, but I'm not quite sure where to start. Has anyone ever done a similar study, and if so, what parameters did you use? Thanks so much.

Rachel Lieberman
Coordinator, Peer Tutorial Services
Lee Campus
I-116
239-489-9308


Florida SouthWestern State College



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