Date of Award

8-9-2010

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Thomas C. Nowak, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

John A. Anderson, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

D. Alex Heckert, Ph.D.

Abstract

While the literature indicates a link between retention and advising, almost all previous research has measured perceptions or satisfaction with advising. Because of this, it seems that there is a gap in the methodology used to assess the efficacy of advising services. Even though investigators may be able to locate studies that assert increased use of services based on satisfaction, they still have not adequately measured service quality. This distinction is the crux of the research. The purpose of this research project is to explore whether satisfaction with advising services correlate with measures that are more objective, such as GPA and retention rates. This exploratory study used two related sets of data. The first is from a survey conducted to evaluate counseling and transfer services. The second is GPA and retention data for the students who participated in the survey. The results of the assessment were compared with more concrete measures of effective academic advising from the second data set. Hierarchical OLS regression and binary logistic regression were used to estimate the impact of the satisfaction variables on GPA and retention while controlling for the demographic variables. Although the hypotheses presented in this study were rejected, the research results were as expected. The relationship between perceptions of advising and GPA and retention did not support the findings in the literature when subjective measures were used. Although there are limitations and it was exploratory in nature, this research provides initial support for further qualitative research. If institutions plan to continue advising programs, they should seek to substantiate the effectiveness. That may lead to restructuring the provision of advising services in an effective and efficient means that meets the needs of both the college and the student.

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