Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 12-5-2019


Academic advising performs a pivotal contribution to student success by providing information about univeristy expectations and avenues towards graduation. Exploratory student advising has the additional task of supporting students in major selection. This analysis investigated the relationship between academic advising and student persistence for exploratory students to better understand the impact of current advising practices. METHODS: Exploratory academic advisors met with an average 53% of exporatory students each semester. Students with a record of meeting with an academic advisor were compared to similar exploratory students who did not. Students were compared using prediction-based propensity score matching. Students who met with an advisor were matched with students who did not based on their persistence predication and their propensity to participate. The groups were compared using difference-in-difference testing (DID). FINDINGS: Students were 99% similar following matching. Students who met with an academic advisor were significantly more likely to persist at USU than similar students who did not (DID = 0.099, p < .001). The unstandardized effect size can be estimated through student impact. It is estimated that academic advising assisted in retaining 91 (CI: 74 to 107) exploratory students each year who were otherwise not expected to persist.