Friday, January 23, 2009

Update: Reliance on Adjuncts Drives Away Students

Earlier I blogged about a study by Allison Jaeger showing that when adjuncts teach introductory level courses, students are less likely to go on to take other courses in that field. The study had only been presented at a conference, but had been written up in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

The full peer reviewed version of a related study by Jaeger is now available. This study only covers one institution, but it is quite large. The final sample included 14,494 students at a "a large research-extensive institution located in the
southeast" presumably NC State University, Raleigh, the authors' home institution.

They examined ten variables to see if they would predict an eleventh, student retention. The potential predicting variables were

  1. ethnicity
  2. gender
  3. high school GPA
  4. high school percentile
  5. rank
  6. SAT verbal score
  7. SAT math score
  8. total SAT score
  9. percent exposure to graduate student instruction
  10. percent exposure to part-time faculty instruction
  11. percent exposure to full-time faculty instruction

Of those only HS GPA, gender, number of hours attempted and exposure to part time faculty had any predictive value. Interestingly, exposure to part time faculty did not have as strong a negative effect on retention as being female.

One of their citations seems worth following up on:

Hagedorn, L., Perrakis, A., & Maxwell, W. (2002). The negative commandments: Ten
ways community colleges hinder student success. (ED 466 262).

I don't know what (ED 466 262) means, but the article seems related to this

Florida Journal of Educational Administration and Policy, Fall, 2007 by Linda Serra Hagedorn, Athena I. Perrakis, William Maxwell


Breena Ronan said...

Does the thing about gender having a negative correlation to retention say something very very bad about students or is it just me?

Rob Helpy-Chalk said...

Actually, I think is says something very negative about us.