Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Davis, James

Committee Member

Mathews, Jerry

Committee Member

Abraham, Patti

Committee Member

King, Stephanie

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

MSU Only Indefinitely

Document Type

Dissertation - Campus Access Only


Community College Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Instructional Systems and Workforce Development


The number of students attending public universities is increasing in the United States. These students are diverse in terms of age, ethnicity, socio-economic status, and academic abilities. Some are the first in their families to attend college. These varied backgrounds and experiences often result in students who are under-prepared for college. Increasing academic success and retention of students are a constant struggle at many institutions of higher education. The current study investigated the academic performance (GPA) and retention rates of freshmen students who were part of the mentoring program at Mississippi State University. The results indicated that students who were part of the mentoring program performed better academically and also were retained at a higher rate than that of those students were not part of the mentoring program. Incoming college freshmen need access to as many university resources as possible, such as mentoring to aid them in successfully acclimating both academically and socially. Efforts should focus on encouraging faculty interaction beyond the classroom via mentoring. This mentoring interaction will help incoming students not only with a higher GPA, but also with a better chance at remaining at college and ultimately graduating.