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The Impact of Academic Advising on the Retention of First-year Students in a Gulf-Arab University

Selma Haghamed, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This study investigated academic advising and retention in a Gulf-Arab university. Quantitative and qualitative data were gathered in order to understand how academic advising could have potentially contributed to the improvement of student retention. The focus of the study was on first-year students in the College of Business and Economics and the College of Law in a Gulf-Arab national four-year institution. The study compared the Grade Point Average (GPA) and the number of credit hours in two groups of first-year students: 1) a treatment group of students who utilized academic advising services and (2) the control group of students who did not. Findings included: 1) Students who participated in the Academic Advising intervention had significantly higher GPAs than those who did not participate. 2) Students who participated in the Academic Advising intervention registered for courses in the semester following their admission in greater numbers. 3) The use of the College Student Inventory (CSI) by academic advisors was perceived to be an effective tool in assessing student attitudes and perceptions. 4) Non-returning students reported job and work responsibilities as a major reason for their dropping out. Recommendations for improved practice included: building a comprehensive retention plan based on (1) data, (2) attrition factors unique to the institution, (3) institutional mission and strategic objectives, and (4) institutional resources with special emphasis on academic advising. Recommendations for future research included replicating this study with a longitudinal design that tracks the development and persistence of students who receive the academic advising intervention across multiple semesters or until graduation with more control over variables not related to the academic advising intervention.

Subject Area

Educational leadership|Higher education

Recommended Citation

Haghamed, Selma, "The Impact of Academic Advising on the Retention of First-year Students in a Gulf-Arab University" (2014). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3666964.