Document Type



Doctor of Education


Educational Practice

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Kathleen M. Haywood, PhD.


Kimberly Allen


Kathleen Haywood

Kimberly Allen

Juliet Scherer


Many first-year, first-semester community college students take multiple developmental education courses, expending significant time, money and opportunity costs, but do not return for a second semester. Students who do not persist past their first semester are unlikely to ever return to post-secondary education, so it is critical to identify and assist these students as early in their postsecondary career as possible. To assist colleges with this effort, this study employed chi-square and logistic regression analyses on data collected during students' application and enrollment processes, as well as students’ first semester course performance, to create several nested models of characteristics correlated with first to second semester attrition. These models sought to identify the greatest number of students who did not reenroll as early in students’ post-secondary education as possible. Three characteristics were found to be highly predictive of not reenrolling for a second semester, and made up a large percentage of the total students who did not reenroll: (1) students without a high school diploma; (2) students who did not declare a major at the time of application; and (3) students who attempted six or fewer credit hours their first semester. Students in this study having one or more of these characteristics made up nearly forty percent of the total students who did not reenroll. These results indicate that a significant opportunity to intervene, and thereby potentially increase first to second semester retention, is during the application and enrollment process, or before students even enter the classroom.

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