A Longitudinal Investigation of College Student Engagement as Predictors of College Student Outcomes
Myers, Brittany R.
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Given the high cost of university education in the United States, and the economic disadvantages of leaving college without a degree, university administrators are eager to find ways of improving graduation rates. Using survey data, the current study examined both individual and institutional predictors of college outcomes among a sample of 510 college freshmen at a large urban public university with a highly diverse student body. Data were obtained using the College Student Experiences Questionnaire focusing specifically on benchmarks of student engagement, including: the amount of Student-Faculty Interaction, perceptions of Supportive Campus Environment, frequency of Diversity Experiences on campus, the use of Active and Collaborative Learning techniques, and the Level of Academic Challenge. Logistic regression analyses revealed that student engagement benchmarks were predictive of four-year graduation, six-year graduation, first-year GPA and retention outcomes, with some variation observed across racial groups. Potential theoretical explanations are offered, and practical implications for university administrators are discussed, both in terms of main effects and group differences graduation and GPA.