Investigation of the Effect of First-Year Seminars on Student Success
Author(s): Shi, Qingmin, Crooker, John R., Drum, Christina R., & Drake, Brent M.
Citation: Shi, Qingmin, Crooker, John R., Drum, Christina R., & Drake, Brent M. (2021). Investigation of the Effect of First-Year Seminars on Student Success. Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition, 33(2), 65-95.
The first-year seminar (FYS) has been widely implemented at colleges and universities as a strategy for facilitating student success. However, empirical evidence indicates that the observed effects of FYS on retention and academic performance are mixed. Drawing on data from first-time full-time degree-seeking cohorts from Fall 2010 through Fall 2014, this study estimates the effects of FYS participation and FYS grades on retention, academic performance, and completion. The results reveal that FYS participants were retained at higher rates into the sequential Fall terms than FYS nonparticipants. FYS participation, FYS grades, first-Fall attempted credits, and application submission advanced days were found as significant predictors of retention and 6-year graduation. Additionally, earning a higher FYS grade than a "B" is associated with an increased likelihood of retention and graduation. The implications of this study are discussed.