Date of Conferral



Doctor of Public Administration (D.P.A)


Public Policy and Administration


Karel Kurst-Swanger


AbstractTitle III Strengthening Institutions Program is a supplemental grant that was designed to help eligible higher education institutions improve and strengthen academic quality, institutional management, and fiscal stability of eligible institutions. A community college in the Midsouth region was the focus of this quantitative study. Graduation and retention rates have steadily declined, and there are significant achievement gaps in terms of ethnicity and race, program completion, and failure rates in high-enrolled courses among first-year students. Using the retention model, this study involved examining the impact on retention for students participating in supplemental instruction upon entering college during their freshman year. The purpose of this quantitative case study was to determine the impact on retention for first-year students participating in supplemental instruction upon entering college up to their sophomore year. This study involved evaluating the results of those first-year students who utilized SI in conjunction with preexisting data of other students at the college during an academic calendar year. Data were collected from three sources: a quantitative five-point Likert scale survey via SurveyMonkey, public data from the college, and campus archived and current student data. A survey link was emailed to two SI leaders to distribute via email to 30 to 40 of their students enrolled in two subject areas: English and math. The results of this study showed that the SI program has been an effective tool and has positively impacted student retention at the college in spite of the enrollment and retention rates. These findings will positively impact social change by providing avenues for students to become public leaders and officials to impact change within their communities.