Academic Advising Influence on Undergraduate Student Odds of Retention and Graduation: A Multilevel Analysis
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Background: Academic advising can be an effective intervention for students needing guidance through their academic programs. At this point, we are unsure how academic advising affects the success of students who bring different pre-enrollment academic experiences. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to better understand the factors associated with success of transfer and dual-credit students in order to help inform efforts to improve university-wide advising practices. Therefore, these analyses attempted to identify individual- and college-level factors influencing the likelihood that FTIC, transfer, and dual-credit students will persist from their first to second year and the likelihood that they will graduate. Methods: The outcomes of interest in this study are dichotomous indicators of student success (retention and graduation). Therefore, a Hierarchical Generalized Linear Model was used to estimate the probability (φ) that a student from the 2012 cohort graduated conditioned on a set of fixed effects at the individual (β) and college (γ) levels. Logistic regression was used to determine whether student retention from the first to second year was influenced by student demographics, college designation, academic advising attendance, and other background characteristics. Finally, multiple regression was used to determine whether cohort 2015 students’ cumulative first year GPA was influenced by student characteristics and behaviors. Results: HLM results indicated that college-level factors percentage of transfer students and percentage of students at high academic risk, as well as multiple student-level variables including academic advising contact were strong predictors of student graduation. Logistic regression revealed that increased academic advising contact, transfer designation and full-time enrollment status, among other variables, were likely to predict persistence to second year. Finally, multiple regression results indicated that academic advising contact and other variables were associated with first-year GPA. Conclusion: This study demonstrates the importance of academic advising contact within colleges and the researcher suggests changes to advising practice and ideas for future research.