Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2-10-2019


Leadership and involvement programs are an integral part of the student experience on University campuses. Volunteers and scholars within leadership and involvement serve their peers by providing rewarding events that unify the student body. Volunteers and scholars also benefit through opportunities for personal exploration and growth. Working with SILC allows students to serve and lead in a unique way. This report explored the association between student participation in leadership and involvement programs, and student persistence to the next term at Utah State University. METHODS: Students participation was captured by rosters across all SILC programs. Students who had a record of participation were compared to similar students who did not have a record of participation. Similar students were identified through prediction-based propensity score matching. Students were matched based on their persistence prediction and their propensity to participate. FINDINGS: Students were 99% similar following matching. Participating and comparison students were compared using difference-in-difference testing. Students who participated in SILC programs were significantly more likely to persist at USU than similar students who did not (DID = 0.0326, p < .001). The unstandardized effect size can be estimated through student impact. It is estimated that SILC participation assisted in retaining 12 (CI: 6 – 18) students each year who were otherwise not expected to persist.