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

Brittany Lynn Neunuebel, University of Missouri-St. Louis


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.