Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


King, Stephanie B.

Committee Member

Moyen, Eric A.

Committee Member

Fincher, Mark Edward

Committee Member

Armstrong, Christopher Clayton

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Community College Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Educational Leadership


In this study, the research problem was underrepresented minority (URM) male and female transfer students and male transfer students of all ethnicities who were placed on academic suspension, thus removing their chances of being retained and graduating. The purpose of this study was to see to what extent there were relationships between the dependent variables retention and graduation and the independent variables ethnicity, gender, and enrollment in a retention program. A total of 295 participants were included in the study: 119 students who chose to enroll in the retention program and 176 students who chose not to enroll. Descriptive statistics were run to report the demographic data. A binary logistic regression was used to examine the relationship between the demographic variables (i.e., ethnicity, male, retention program enrollment, retention first year, and graduation from a period of 2014–2016). The results yielded that ethnicity had no effect on retention or graduation. Also, the male gender had no effect on retention or graduation. Students were more likely to be retained if they enrolled in a retention program as compared to those who did not enroll. Also, students were more likely to graduate if they enrolled in a retention program as compared to those who chose not to enroll. The study concluded with a summary of the findings as well as limitations of the study. Recommendations were discussed for practitioners and policy makers to include information for students, faculty, and advisors to encourage career exploration. Future research recommendations included expanding the study to all students, conducting a qualitative study to see why students chose not to enroll in a retention program, and examining the participants’ current program of study.