UK 101 as a strategy for improving retention rates for underrepresented minority students at UK

This just in from the Office of Institutional Research: are retention tables using the Council on Postsecondary Education‘s definition of underrepresented minority (URM) students. Basically, White and Asian students are not counted as URM, and “nonresident aliens” are removed from any URM analysis.

Using logistic regression analyses on UK’s official cohorts, the Office of Institutional Research staff examined second, third, and fourth year retention and four and six year graduation rates as outcomes, adjusting for High School Grade Point Average (HS GPA) and ACT/SAT scores to determine the significance of students taking UK101, Academic Orientation.

For URM students, taking UK 101 was statistically significant for the second and third year retention rates. However, taking UK 101 was not statistically significant for the fourth year retention rates and the four and six year graduation rates. The Office of Institutional Research has determined that UK 101 has increased the likelihood of minority students at UK (from 2003 through 2011) being retained for the second and third years, however that significance is lost during the fourth year and for degree completion.

For example, those who came to UK as first-year, first-time, full-time, degree-seeking students in the Fall of 2005, 85 underrepresented minority students enrolled in UK101 (out of a total of 1,654 who enrolled that year). The total number of underrepresented minority students in that year’s cohort was 178. The first year retention rate was 81% for all students enrolled in UK101, which was only slightly lower that the retention rate of the underrepresented minority students enrolled (81.2%). However, the retention rate for URM students in the 2005 cohort overall was 77.5%.

This important difference in impact is lost, however after the sophomore year. The retention rates of URM students in the 2005 cohort’s persistence from the First Fall to Third Fall: 65.9% for those who had enrolled in UK101 vs. 66.9% for all URM students in that cohort. The 6 year degree completion rate for the URM students out of the 2005 cohort was 51.1% while the graduate rate for those in that same cohort who had enrolled in UK101 was 53.6%.

Somewhere between the sophomore and junior year, UK is seeing attrition for underrepresented minority students rise at a more dramatic rate than for White and Asian students. This is an important issue for all of us to investigate and consider carefully.

For detailed information, you can download the charts (.pdf file) here.

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About UK Student and Academic Life

Undergraduate Education is now recreated within the Division of Student and Academic Life in the Provost's Office at the University of Kentucky.
This entry was posted in Diversity, Orientation, Retention, Student Success and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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