Dissertation: Rico Timoteo

Cohort 3, published 2012


The Impact of UC Davis's Early Academic Outreach Program on Degree Attainment


Too many high school graduates who enroll in California’s public postsecondary institutions do not persist to degree completion. The low persistence and graduation rate of undergraduates from the secondary schooling system is threatening the state’s economy and California is facing a work force deficit of approximately one-million college-educated graduates by 2025. Improving the graduation rate of the State’s most disadvantaged populations who are enrolled in higher education could help drastically to mitigate the future economic gloom. Although student-centered outreach programs have increased the postsecondary enrollment of secondary school historically and underrepresented student, little is known as to whether student-centered outreach intervention strategies influence a student’s propensity towards retention, persistence and degree completion.

Longitudinal empirical data from former high school participants from the Early Academic Outreach Program at the University of California Davis is used to assess the impact toward degree attainment of the high school graduating cohorts in the Class of 2000 through 2006. The data includes the participation of specific activities, high school course transcript, and the postsecondary institution of enrollment and graduation.

The hours of academic advising, college information and personal motivation provided by EAOP has no impact on first-year retention or degree attainment of its participants when analyzed in a bivariate linear regression and nominal logit regression, respectively. EAOP participant’s first-year retention is impacted by the number of laboratory sciences successfully passed in secondary education and a strong non-weighted high school GPA. In addition, an ordinary lest squares (OLS) method in a regression analysis, the hours of college information, successful completion of English courses provided to participants, and being a male had a negative impact toward a four-year persistence. In other words, EAOP participants who benefit from the college information activities are more likely to attain a degree sooner than non-participants. Additionally, participants who attained a higher degree had an increasing positive impact on persistence and participants who identified as African-American, Asian, Chicano, Pacific Islanders and Other were also impacted positively toward college persistence. Yet, low-income participants where statistically impacted by EAOP to attaining a degree.

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