Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




David W. Leslie


The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of the Preparing for Life as a University Student (PLUS) transition program on student achievement, persistence, and integration. The mixed design study was conducted at a highly selective, coeducational, mid-sized university. Three cohort groups were combined as the treatment group and compared statistically to a closely matched sample of non-PLUS students. Focus groups with PLUS participants were also held.;Two research questions investigated whether there was a significant difference in academic achievement and persistence between PLUS participants and non-PLUS students after the first and second semesters. The remaining three research questions addressed PLUS participants' perceptions of the impacts of PLUS on integration patterns and of the impact of integration on academic achievement and persistence. Statistical analyses showed that there was a significant difference in mean GPAs after the second semester and a significant difference between mean numbers of credits earned after the first and second semesters. Analysis of focus group responses showed that participation in PLUS positively impacted academic and social integration. Furthermore, responses indicated that integration positively impacted achievement and participants' will to persist.;The results suggest that there are advantages to taking the course in PLUS. The results also suggest that strong peer and student-faculty relationships are crucial to student success. Recommendations are made for further studies that analyze achievement and persistence rates beyond the first two semesters of matriculation. The researcher also suggests that future research designs should include comparative analyses of various summer transition programs.



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