Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Jerry Willis

Second Supervisor

Jamie Steiner


This quantitative study focused on evaluating the effectiveness of an academic support program serving urban at-risk students. The program studied takes place at a private middle size college located in New York City and lower Westchester County, NY which serves a predominately urban population. Retention rates of program participants were compared to a treatment group of statistically matched students. Ten student characteristics, choice of major, incoming high school grade point average, gender, race, college math and English placement scores, date of initial registration, family estimated contribution, parent’s educational level, and date of initial college application were analyzed as potential predictors of student retention. The findings show that students who participated in the academic support program retained at a significantly higher rate than those that did not participate. Additionally, for students who participated in the academic support program out of ten student characteristics, none were determined to predict a student’s retention a year later. For students who did not participate in the academic support program, being a male or testing into a non-credit English course suggests that students are more likely not to retain one year later. Additional research is recommended at this institution to measure other predictors of retention such as non-cognitive traits, debt burden, and high school rigor.

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