Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Dr. Stacy Wahl


Nursing administrators are exploring interventions to increase student retention rates in order to decrease college costs, improve faculty effort and time developing courses, decrease administrative resources, and to continue their accreditation. The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not there was a correlation between the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) reading comprehension scores, American College Test (ACT) reading comprehension scores, Comprehensive Computer-Adaptive Testing (COMPASS) reading comprehension scores, and the cumulative college grade point average (GPA) of the first-year nursing student. The theoretical foundation for this study was Tinto's retention theory, which claims that students' past academic performance predicts retention. A correlation approach within a cross-sectional nonexperimental design was used by analyzing data from admission testing and the first-year cumulative GPA from 151 associate degree nursing students from a private college in the Southeast Missouri area. According to study results, there was no correlation between GPAs and reading comprehension scores. Additionally, ACT, TEAS, and COMPASS reading comprehension scores did not correlate with student retention rates. Administrators in the associate degree nursing program can use the results of this study to determine what interventions might determine the success of the first-year nursing student. Positive social change will result from a more diverse set of admission criteria for acceptance into the program and will assist the admissons committees to find the best candidates for the program.