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Department 1

Institutional Analysis


This study examined the net effects of participating in a residential first-year seminar (FYS) program by comparing the outcomes of participants with those of non-participants at the point of graduation, while controlling for background and pre-college variables. Outcome variables focused on student academic performance and self-reported gains as a result of their undergraduate education; they included: cumulative GPA; intellectual development; development of problem solving; development of social and civic engagement; institutional preparation for career path, graduate school, and interpersonal relationships and family living/personal development; and participation in faculty-mentored research. The study was based on a sample of 853 graduating seniors at a highly selective liberal arts college. Participation in a FYS was negatively associated with two outcomes--development of problem solving and institutional preparation for career path, on which FYS participants reported significantly smaller gains than non-participants. On the remaining outcome variables, participation in a FYS did not demonstrate any significant long-term effects.


Presented at the 44th Annual North East Association for Institutional Research (NEAIR) Conference, November 20, 2017