Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name



Educational Psychology

First Advisor

Barry S. Markman


Many U.S. universities are concerned with student retention. The current study surveyed 237 first time college students at a Midwestern university to determine the extent to which social-cognitive factors, such as high school GPA, ACT scores, first semester college GPA, college self-efficacy and perceptions of mentorship support influence freshmen's intent to persist and academic success.

Pearson Correlations, Standard Multiple Regression Analyses, PROCESS for Mediation and Moderation, and a MANOVA were performed. The study's findings show that college self-efficacy and perceptions of mentorship were the strongest predictors for intentions to persist past the first college semester. High school GPA was the strongest predictor, but ACT scores, perceptions of mentorship and participation in Learning Communities were also related to first semester college GPA. However, these results must be taken with caution. Because of the heterogeneous nature of Learning Communities, their impact may be further explored in future studies.