Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


Peter K. Mills


The trend in enrollment decline at New York City Technical College (NYCTC) began in the early 1980's. The number of early admitted students dropped from 2250 (1983) to 1500 (1986). In order to address the problem of dwindling admissions, the administration took a positive step to retain the students who entered. The Student Development Center (SDC) was established in the Fall '86 semester. It was established to be the developing model which would begin the process of increasing student persistence. The Middle States Committee criticized the faculty for not recognizing the change in the student body, and therefore, not addressing their educational needs. The SDC was established to provide an intrusive, proactive, intensive, and personal approach to the student. Consequently, the purpose of this study was to determine what effects the SDC has had on student persistence and student satisfaction with faculty, administration and delivery of services. The College Student Questionnaire Part 2 was sent to a random sample (N=203) of students who have received the SDC treatment since the Fall '86 semester. The same instrument was sent to a random sample (N=212) from the same population who did not receive the SDC treatment. In order to compare academic performance, registration patterns, entrance test scores, retest scores and GPA, Student Information Sheets (SIS) were generated for the students in the two samples studied. Through the application of the two-tailed independent t-test on the means of the items measured by the CSQ and the z-test and independent t-test, where appropriate, on the items compiled from the SIS, information was gathered as to the effectiveness of the Student Development Center treatment. In most cases, the null hypotheses, postulating no significant difference between the groups at the .05 level of significance, were rejected. The SDC sample scored significantly higher in a most positive sense. Also, the number of credits attempted by the SDC group showed the tuition dollars generated by the numbers persisting in the group. Not only did the SDC group persist, but also, the quality of their educational pursuits were exhibited in the significantly higher scores in the Freshman Skills Assessment Program retests and the cumulative, major, and degree averages. The SDC students were significantly different in academics, career change, credit accumulation and grade point averages. The positive student profile indicated by the CSQ results showed that the SDC was influential in creating a good relationship with the college community and in fostering a good self-image for the student. The analysis of the results from this study established a positive profile and the desired effect for the entire student population. It should help effect change to a student-centered attitude which would influence budgetary considerations and directions. The SDC must be seen as the beginning of a permanent posture fostering retention, student persistence and student satisfaction. The results of this study were shared with the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Vice President for Student Affairs. It will be presented to faculty and staff through the appropriate offices and forums.

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