|dc.description.abstract||This study probed for an answer to the question, "How
do you identify as early as possible those students who are
at risk of failing or dropping out of college so that
intervention can take place?" by field testing two
diagnostic instruments with a group of first semester Seneca
College Computer Studies students.
In some respects, the research approach was such as
might be taken in a pilot study. Because of the complexity
of the issue, this study did not attempt to go beyond
discovery, understanding and description. Although some
inferences may be drawn from the results of the study, no
attempt was made to establish any causal relationship
between or among the factors or variables represented here.
Both quantitative and qualitative data were gathered during.
four resea~ch phases: background, early identification,
intervention, and evaluation.
To gain a better understanding of the problem of
student attrition within the School of Computer Studies at
Seneca College, several methods were used, including
retrospective analysis of enrollment statistics, faculty and
student interviews and questionnaires, and tracking of the
sample population. The significance of the problem was
confirmed by the results of this study. The findings
further confirmed the importance of the role of faculty in
student retention and support the need to improve the quality of teacher/student interaction. As well, the need
__f or ~~ills as~e:ss_~ent foll,,-~ed }JY supportiv e_c_ounsell~_I'l9_ ~~d_ __
placement was supported by the findings from this study.
strategies for reducing student attrition were identified by
faculty and students.
As part of this study, a project referred to as "A
Student Alert project" (ASAP) was undertaken at the School
of Computer Studies at Seneca College. Two commercial
diagnostic instruments, the Noel/Levitz College Student
Inventory (CSI) and the Learning and Study Strategies
Inventory (LASSI), provided quantitative data which were
subsequently analyzed in Phase 4 in order to assess their
usefulness as early identification tools. The findings show
some support for using these instruments in a two-stage
approach to early identification and intervention: the CSI
as an early identification instrument and the LASSI as a
counselling tool for those students who have been identified
as being at risk.
The findings from the preliminary attempts at
intervention confirmed the need for a structured student
advisement program where faculty are selected, trained, and
recognized for their advisor role. Based on the finding
that very few students acted on the diagnostic results and
recommendations, the need for institutional intervention by
way of intrusive measures was confirmed.||en_US