Committee on the Use of Human Subjects (CUHSR/IRB)

PROPOSAL ID:3624
TITLE:WHERE DID THEY GO? THE PROBLEM OF STUDENT PERSISTENCE IN COLLEGE FROM FALL TO SPRING
PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATOR:HENRY, KELLY
PSYCHOLOGY CHAIR
816-271-5693
HENRY@MISSOURIWESTERN.EDU
OTHER INVESTIGATORS:ALIJAH GRIFFIN
IRB SUMMARY: File Created: February 9, 2022
Department Chair Action Date: February 10, 2022
Current Status: Expired. Final Status Report or Extension Needed.
Confidentiality Data are linked to individuals.

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

Three-hundred thirty-three students enrolled in Missouri Western for Fall 2021 and did not persist into the Spring 2022 semester. The purpose of this study is to offer them the opportunity to participate in an interview that will help us better understand their reasons for leaving.

STATEMENT OF RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

Enrollment management will provide the principal investigators a list of email (gmail) contacts for 333 students who failed to persist in college enrollment from Fall 2021 to Spring 2022. A simple google forms survey will be sent to these students asking if they would be willing to participate in an interview to tell us their reasons for leaving. The initial survey will inform them that the interview consists of two questions asking why they left and if Missouri Western could have done anything to retain them. They will be informed that the interview will take 15-20 minutes maximum. That initial survey will be completely anonymous, but those who respond “yes” will be linked to a non-anonymous Google Form in which they are invited to tell us their name and preferred mode of contact for the interview. The initial survey functions as the informed consent to the interview as there is no deception in this methodology. Participants who indicate willingness to be interviewed will be contacted to arrange a time at their convenience. Interviews will be done via phone, primarily, though in person is available if necessary and requested. In the interview, participants will be asked open-ended prompts to elicit the reasons behind their choice to leave Missouri Western at semester. Prompts will include the following: (a) Tell me about the reasons you chose to not enroll in Spring 2022 and (b) What could Missouri Western have done differently to make you stay? As each response seems complete, the principal investigator will probe one time for each prompt “Is there anything else you would like to add to your story?” Responses will be transcribed in notes and coded for themes. Coding will be done by two independent raters, for inter-rater agreement. Descriptive statistics will describe the number of themes across student categories (freshman, sophomore, junior and senior). Results will not include any identifying information from the respondents, but will focus on the prevalence of the themes. Findings will be presented at Multi-disciplinary Research Day and Psychology Research Day, and to Dr. Melissa Mace (Vice President of Enrollment Management at Missouri Western).

ANTICIPATED RISKS AND BENEFITS

There are minimal risks in this study. Participants may experience minor annoyance at the initial survey but are free to ignore it if desired. Benefits may include the opportunity to vent concerns that have felt unheard to date.

SUBJECT SELECTION

Enrollment management at Missouri Western has identified 333 subjects who were enrolled in Fall 2021 but did not persist to enroll in Spring 2022. They were as follows: 141 freshmen, 66, sophomores, 57 juniors, and 69 seniors. These are the subjects who will be contacted in the initial short survey with Google forms. Only those who indicate willingness to participate in the interview and provide contact information will be selected for the interview process.

CONFIDENTIALITY

The initial survey inviting participation in an interview will be anonymous. Only those who offer their contact information and agree to the interview will be connected to their identity. That identity will be removed from the data once the interview is complete and transcription and coding begins. Data will be maintained in a locked office and dissemination of data will remove all identifying information.

PRIMARY SUPPORTING DOCUMENT

Click for Word Document

Proposal Amended on 03-22-2022

The original scope of this project was to use data provided by Melissa Mace in conjunction with interviews from the sample. We would like to expand the scope to allow us to pull further data from GPS to add to the file provided. We have rough data on whether or not each participant in the file was on academic probation, and we are requesting approval to pull from GPS their precise GPAs to allow for finer distinctions. We are also requesting permission to pull from GPS their hometown/address so we can assess how distance from home affects their persistence. Our interviews thus far have been a VERY small sample, but thematically have suggested academic failure and mental health/homesickness are part of the reasons those interviewees left MWSU after 1st semester. To determine if this is true of the sample at large, we believe having the actual GPA and home location (by town, not anything more specific than that) would be useful.

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Any questions about proposals, procedures, etc. should be directed to the chair of the CUHSR