Date of Conferral

1-1-2011

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Psychology

Advisor

Reginald Taylor

Abstract

The low graduation rate of degree-seeking students at public community colleges is an important crisis facing communities across the United States. College satisfaction and withdrawal cognitions in students have been identified as key factors in college persistence by researchers. However, a review of the literature revealed no study in which a college-persistence intervention based on the personalization principle theory or using tailored messages has been conducted. The purpose of this study was to test the effectiveness of a college-persistence intervention, based on the personalization principle theory and Mashburn's theory, for students at a community college. This study used between-groups experimental research design and employed a nonprobability convenience sample comprising 108 college students at a regionally accredited public community college in the United States. Random assignment to 1 of 3 groups, including 2 experimental groups and 1 no-message control group, was conducted. The 2 experimental groups were the personalization-based tailored instructional messages and generalized instructional messages groups. A one-way MANOVA indicated that there was no significant difference in the college satisfaction and withdrawal cognitions of students in the experimental and control groups. A chi-square test of independence also indicated that there was no significant association between intervention type (personalization-based tailored instructional message, generalized instructional message, and no-message control) and college persistence. This study provides educators with a basis for social change with the debut of a prototype intervention that may be replicated and extended in future research to help students earn a college degree.