Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Degree

Spring 2016

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Educational Policy and Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Christopher C. Morphew

Abstract

This study examined the relationship between intercollegiate participation and persistence in college. In addition, it explored the different factors that influenced student athletes' persistence patterns as compared to non-student athletes at residential liberal arts schools. Using data from the Wabash National Study of Liberal Arts Education (WNS), I first examined if student athletes were more likely to persist while controlling for background characteristics. Next, using Braxton's revised theory of student departure as a theoretical lens, I examined how eight factors (ability to pay, commitment of the institution to student welfare, communal potential, institutional integrity, proactive social adjustment, psychosocial engagement, social integration, and subsequent college commitment) influenced persistence in student athletes as compared to non-student athletes while controlling for students' backgrounds. The findings suggest that student athletes are more likely to persist. In addition, while Black students were more likely to persist than non-Black students as a whole, Black student athlete were less likely to persist than Black non-student athletes. Also, while some factors influenced student athletes and non-student athlete persistence patterns differently, no consistent pattern emerged. This study contributes to Braxton's model by suggesting classroom achievement, as measured by GPA, should be considered for inclusion in the model. Finally, this study has implications for administrators, especially those considering the use of athletics as an enrollment strategy.

Public Abstract

This study examined the relationship between intercollegiate participation and persistence in college. In addition, it explored the different factors that influenced student athletes’ persistence patterns as compared to non-student athletes at residential liberal arts schools. The findings suggest that student athletes are more likely to persist. In addition, while Black students were more likely to persist than non-Black students as a whole, Black student athlete were less likely to persist than Black non-student athletes. Also, while some factors influenced student athletes and non-student athlete persistence patterns differently, no consistent pattern emerged.

Keywords

publicabstract, Braxton, Intercollegiate Athletics, Persistence, Student Athletes

Pages

ix, 169

Bibliography

151-169

Copyright

Copyright 2016 Scot Hugh Reisinger

Share

COinS