Addressing the Tension Between Open Access Admission and Improving Retention Rates at Crowder College

Document Type



Doctor of Education


Educational Practice

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Kathleen M. Haywood, PhD


Althof, Wolfgang

Elliott, Jacquelyn


Most community colleges embrace an open-access admission policy. At the same time, community colleges are pressured to improve retention rates. This project sought to address the tension between open-access and improved retention rates by determining which markers of academic preparedness predicted fall-to-fall retention in past admission cohorts of a community college. Data for three incoming classes of new students were analyzed using two separate logistical regressions, one on Pre-Admission/Enrollment variables and one on Post-Matriculation variables. The analysis of Pre- Admission/Enrollment variables, suggested that students who were male, 23 years or older and who had a low ACT Math Sub Score, and/or a low COMPASS Math were less likely to return. The analysis of the Post-Matriculation variables suggested that students with a low Term 1-GPA, a low Term 2-GPA, and other than 15 credits attempted were less likely to return. These results suggest that interventions targeted at incoming students with this profile could improve fall-to-fall retention. Also, interventions with students with a first term GPA below 2.80 could improve fall-to-fall retention.

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