Underprepared College Student Cohort: Study of
Differences in Academic Integration and Social
Integration in Synergy Supportive Learning
Environment
Kim Dickinson
University of Wyoming Andrew Linck
Nicole Wardell
Abstract
• Research focused around student success in supportive
learning community
• Using Tinto’s theory (Tinto, 1993) of student departure or
persistence and how it correlates with social integration
and academic integration to predict student success
• Discuss how academic integration and social integration
are factors of the four different selection cohorts of the
University of Wyoming Synergy Program.
Introduction
• Importance of post-secondary education in teaching
students who enter with academic deficiencies increasing
• WHY?
– Due to existing jobs and skill sets needed by employees
evolve.
– Cultural barriers become lowered for individuals
traditionally not college-bound
• Supportive services must be created and explored to meet
needs
– 78% of higher education institutions that enrolled first-year
students in fall 1995 offered at least one course in basic skills
including reading, writing, or mathematics course
– 29% of first-time first-year students enrolled in at least one
remedial reading, writing, or mathematics course in fall 1995
Merisotis, & Phipps, 2000
The Review of Higher Education, p.69
University of Wyoming Synergy Program
– Supportive learning environment
– Serves underprepared college students
• Originally a pilot project
– Successful
– Outcome, recommendation that all conditionally-
admitted students be required to participate in
learning community
• Criterion for being conditionally-admitted
– In-state students are conditionally-admitted if their high
school GPA is below 2.50.
– Out of state students are conditionally admitted if their
high school GPA is below 2.75, or if their ACT score is
below 20 and their high school GPA is below 3.0
Synergy Program, 2008
Synergy Program Cohorts – Supportive Learning
Community
– Students select Intellectual Community course
(meets University Studies requirements)
– This selection identifies their Synergy cohort
– Together as a cohort students move through
English 1010, Political Science 1000, and
Intellectual Community (UWYO 1450)
Synergy Program Cohorts – Supportive Learning
Community
– Four cohorts studied
– Cohorts are:
• 1) Critically Thinking About the Media and our World
• 2) Truth Behind the Hype: Politics and Generation Rx
• 3) Jobs, Vocations, Careers: Finding the Workplace of
Your Own and Science & Literacy: Interpreting the
Scientific World Around You
• 4) Images of a Continent, Old, and New: Exploring African
Cultures and Sports and Culture
Theoretical Model
Yorke, 2003
Tinto’s Model – Process that occurs as students
integrate into environment
Social Integration (SI) Academic Integration (AI)
Occurs when individuals find a Occurs when value placed upon
means to validate, interact, what they are learning.
and connect with one another
Integration has occurred when
May occur by involvement and there is identification with the
integration into co-curricular specific institutions academic
activities, residence hall living, norms and values.
participation in community
events, and involvement in peer
support groups both formal and
informal
Tinto’s Model – process that occurs as students
integrate into environment
Social Integration (SI) Academic Integration (AI)
Academic integration can be
measured by identifying self-
regulatory learning strategies
such as planning, monitoring,
and regulating behavior based
on goals; and techniques
utilized to manage resources
such as time and people
(Heaney & Fisher, 2011)
Methods
• Participants
– Students currently enrolled in the Synergy
Program
– Eliminated students over the age of 24
– 89 students completed the survey
• Instrument
– Synergy questionnaire developed in 2008
– Developed to measure progress of
underprepared students
Methods
• Social Integration
– Question 4d
• Approximately how many HOURS PER WEEK did you spend
doing the following? Participating in co-curricular activities
(organizations, campus publications, student government,
fraternity or sorority, intercollegiate or intramural sports, etc.)
– Question 5b-j
• About how frequently did you participate/attend any of the
following? b. Attending art or theatre events, c. Volunteering
or doing service work, d. Participating in physical activities,
e. Participating in spiritual activities, f. Going to sporting
events, g. Sports (varsity, club, intramural), h. Club, i.
Fraternity/Sorority, j. Socializing (parties, spending time with
friends)
Methods
• Academic Integration
– Question 1a-f
• Please indicate any of the following support services that you
used the semester? a. Writing Center, b. Math Lab, c. Student
Learning Center (in basement of Washakie), d. Supplemental
Instruction in POLS, e. Library research/reference,
f. Office hours
– Question 3
• Approximately how many classes did you miss this semester?
Please consider all of your classes, not just Synergy courses
– Question 5
• Approximately how many HOURS PER WEEK did you spend
doing the following? a. Preparing for class (studying, reading,
writing, doing homework or lab work, analyzing data, rehearsing,
and other academic activities)
Methods
• Procedure
– Synergy administered the survey at the end of
the Fall 2010 academic semester
• Analysis of Variance
– Look at the differences between academic and
social integration between the four cohorts
• Regression Analysis
– Look at how social integration and academic
integration predict GPA
Results
Cohort 1 Cohort 2 Cohort 3 Cohort 4 F-Statistic P-Value
Social Integration
Question #4d Mean (Std Deviation) 6.00 (8.41) 5.23 (8.28) 5.61 (8.49) 7.43 (8.31) 0.27 0.85
Question #5b-j Mean (Std Deviation) 13.50 (4.61) 15.46 (5.24) 13.91 (5.48) 14.52 (5.71) 0.48 0.70
Academic Integration
Question #1a-f Mean (Std Deviation) 6.47 (3.42) 7.46 (2.47) 7.55 (5.32) 6.70 (3.82) 0.42 0.74
Question #3 Mean (Std Deviation) 7.47 (5.64) 6.62 (3.82) 6.65 (6.04) 6.09 (5.23) 0.30 0.83
Question #5 Mean (Std Deviation) 7.47 (6.60) 12.15 (7.12) 7.48 (5.58) 9.91 (7.53) 2.00 0.12
Results
Correlations
Academinc Academic
Social Integration Sum of Social Sum of Academic Integration Integration
GPA Question #4 (8d) Integration #5 b-j Integration #1 a-f Question #3 (14) Question #5 (8a)
GPA Pearson Correlation 1 .006 -.117 .160 -.401** .299**
Sig. (2-tailed) .958 .273 .136 .000 .004
N 89 89 89 88 89 89
Social Integration Pearson Correlation .006 1 .380** .152 .088 .057
Question #4 (8d) Sig. (2-tailed) .958 .000 .159 .413 .595
N 89 89 89 88 89 89
Sum of Social Integration Pearson Correlation -.117 .380** 1 .174 .061 .090
#5 b-j Sig. (2-tailed) .273 .000 .105 .573 .402
N 89 89 89 88 89 89
Sum of Academic Pearson Correlation .160 .152 .174 1 .037 .050
Integration #1 a-f Sig. (2-tailed) .136 .159 .105 .733 .640
N 88 88 88 88 88 88
Academinc Integration Pearson Correlation -.401** .088 .061 .037 1 -.043
Question #3 (14) Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .413 .573 .733 .686
N 89 89 89 88 89 89
Academic Integration Pearson Correlation .299** .057 .090 .050 -.043 1
Question #5 (8a) Sig. (2-tailed) .004 .595 .402 .640 .686
N 89 89 89 88 89 89
**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).
Results
Model Summary
• F-statistic 9.05 Std. Error of the Model R R Square Adjusted R Square Estimate
1 .596a .356 .316 .77562
• Degrees of Freedom 5 a. Predictors: (Constant), Academic Integration Question #5 (8a), Academic
Integration Question #3 (14), Sum of Academic Integration #1 a-f, Social
• Significance .00 Integration Question #4 (8d), Sum of Social Integration #5 b-j
• The model is significant in showing that academic
integration is predictive of GPA outcome.
ANOVAb
Model Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig.
1 Regression 27.216 5 5.443 9.048 .000a
Residual 49.330 82 .602
Total 76.546 87
a. Predictors: (Constant), Academic Integration Question #5 (8a), Academinc Integration Question #3 (14), Sum
of Academic Integration #1 a-f, Social Integration Question #4 (8d), Sum of Social Integration #5 b-j
b. Dependent Variable: GPA
Results
Coefficients a
Standardized
Unstandardized Coefficients Coefficients
Model B Std. Error Beta t Sig.
1 (Constant) 2.354 .296 7.959 .000
Social Integration Question #4 .011 .011 .094 .969 .335
(8d)
Sum of Social Integration #5 b-j -.032 .017 -.175 -1.810 .074
Sum of Academic Integration .042 .022 .178 1.965 .053
#1 a-f
Academinc Integration -.087 .017 -.462 -5.163 .000
Question #3 (14)
Academic Integration Question .043 .012 .311 3.493 .001
#5 (8a)
a. Dependent Variable: GPA
References
(2008). Synergy program report. 1-4. University of Wyoming.
Cukras, G. (2006). The Investigation of Study Strategies that Maximize Learning for
Underprepared Students. College Teaching, 54(1), 194-197.
Heaney, A., & Fisher, R. (2011). Supporting conditionally-admitted students: a case study of
assessing persistence in a learning community. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching
and Learning, 11(1),
Merisotis, J, & Phipps, R. (2000). Remedial education in colleges and
universities: what's really going on? The Review of higher Education, 24(1), 67-85.
Tinto V (1993). Leaving college: rethinking the causes and cures of student attrition [2nd
Edition]. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.