Date of Award:

5-2020

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Education

Advisor/Chair:

Max L. Longhurst

Co-Advisor/Chair:

Sylvia Read

Third Advisor:

Edward Reeve

Abstract

The university focuses on student-centered learning experiences and encourages student success through engagement and discovery. Departments and programs within universities are organized to support this mission. A major part of encouraging engagement is retaining students and helping them persist towards earning their academic degrees. Likewise, campus initiatives, resources, and activities are intended to support these same goals.

This research investigated the impacts of service learning courses on student persistence to the next term. The research methods used for this study were intended to provide leaders of higher education with valid and reliable information about activities that contribute to or inhibit student success. The research findings complement prior student success research on the high impact practice of service learning. The results demonstrate that when Utah State University students who participate in service learning courses are compared to their counterparts, who did not participate, they are more likely to re-enroll the following term. The results also show differing outcomes of persistence on subgroup populations of students during various academic terms. The implications of the study results provide information to local educational administrators of the impacts on their student body resulting from their curriculum design, development, and implementation of service learning courses.

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