Participation in a study-abroad program and persistence at a liberal arts university.

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This study used a quasi-experimental design with 1,237 students to investigate the association between participation in a study-abroad program and persistence at a liberal arts university. The theoretical basis for the study was Tinto's Theory of Individual Departure. The independent variable of interest, also known as the treatment, was participation in the University of Dallas Rome Program during the sophomore year. The control group consisted of students who were qualified to participate in the Rome Program, but chose not to do so. The dependent variable was the number of fall and spring semesters enrolled as an undergraduate at the University ... continued below

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Young, Denise York December 2003.

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  • Young, Denise York

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Description

This study used a quasi-experimental design with 1,237 students to investigate the association between participation in a study-abroad program and persistence at a liberal arts university. The theoretical basis for the study was Tinto's Theory of Individual Departure. The independent variable of interest, also known as the treatment, was participation in the University of Dallas Rome Program during the sophomore year. The control group consisted of students who were qualified to participate in the Rome Program, but chose not to do so. The dependent variable was the number of fall and spring semesters enrolled as an undergraduate at the University of Dallas post-treatment through spring 2003. Nine variables that measured background characteristics, academic integration, and social integration explained 3.8% of the variation in number of semesters enrolled post-treatment. Participation in the Rome Program explained an additional 4.2%. In all of the statistical measures examined in this study (incremental increase in R2, b weights, adjusted β weights, and structure coefficients), there was evidence of an important positive association between participation in the Rome Program and persistence. Based on the b weight in the regression equation, holding all other variables constant, students who participated in the Rome Program persisted on average .83 semesters longer post-treatment at the University of Dallas than those who did not go to Rome. Of the 1,007 students in this study who went to Rome, 96% were enrolled at the University of Dallas one semester after Rome participation and 91% were still enrolled after two semesters. This compared to 80% and 72%, respectively, for the 230 students in the control group. Of the 674 students in the study who went to Rome and had the opportunity to graduate within 4 years, 79% graduated within 4 years. This compared to 51% for the 123 students in the control group.
Persistence during and after the sophomore year was not associated to the same extent with pre-entry background characteristics, academic integration, and social integration as was persistence from freshman to sophomore year.

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  • December 2003

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  • Feb. 15, 2008, 3:03 p.m.

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  • June 24, 2008, 1:59 p.m.

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Young, Denise York. Participation in a study-abroad program and persistence at a liberal arts university., dissertation, December 2003; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4373/: accessed September 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .