The purpose of this study is to identify factors that support the likelihood of persistence of academically underprepared community college students to 45 college level credits. Factors considered in this research include: (a) race/ethnicity, (b) age, (c) enrollment status, (d) socio-economic status (SES), (e) first quarter GPA, (f) developmental need, (g) participation in a learning community, and (h) completion of a first year seminar course.
The population of students used for the purposes of this research was a cohort of first time, full and part-time, community college students enrolled in associate degree pre-baccalaureate programs of study at Tacoma Community College during Fall quarter 2005. Students in this cohort placed below college level in mathematics, reading or English. Binary logistic regression was used to evaluate the existence, direction and strength of the relationships between each of the independent variables and the dependent variable the completion of 45 college credits.
Findings from this study indicate that enrollment status, specifically full-time enrollment and first quarter GPA, both had statistically significant positive relationships to persistence of academically underprepared students at the community college. Although this research only identifies only two elements as having statistically significant relationships to the completion of 45 credits the data does indicate several other variables with high odds ratios that suggest a possibility that they influence the persistence of
academically underprepared students and should be considered by practitioners at community colleges.