Pre-matriculation Factors and Student Success
For the past five years, OVPUA researchers have used institutional data incorporating the broadest range of factors to answer some of the campus’ most critical questions. What factors contribute to retention and graduation rates? Which students might benefit most from support services? What can we do to increase student retention and graduation? More specifically, our initial multivariate analyses examined the role of student/family background (e.g., age, gender, ethnicity/race, parent education, parent income) and pre-matriculation academic factors (e.g., high school GPA, test scores, AP credits earned) on indicators of student success in college (e.g., first term GPA, first-to-second year retention, and six-year graduation). After controlling for student and family background factors, high school GPA and AP credits earned were found to be the most important predictors of student success in college.
Using IL State Report Card and 5 Essentials data, our research suggests that a wide variation exists in the way high schools prepare students for college, both academically and in terms of informing them about high-school-to-college transition support. Given the importance of high school preparation for college success, we have used multilevel statistical techniques to cluster students at UIC by the high school they attended. Using publicly available information, we are honing in on understanding how high school-level factors (e.g., size, location, average achievement-level, student/teacher demographics) influence UIC student success. Our initial findings suggest where a student attends high school has an effect on success in college and characteristics and qualities of high schools can help explain this effect.