Date of Award

Spring 4-2-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Ed.D. Transformational Teaching and Learning


Secondary Education

First Advisor

Dr. Kathleen Stanfa

Second Advisor

Dr. Helen Hamlet

Third Advisor

Dr. Edwin Nieves


Academic advising is associated with increased student retention and academic success. The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to investigate a relationship with the student-advisor relationship and locus of control as an essential variable to understand Exploratory Studies students’ success. This study investigated the influence of the advising relationship with Exploratory Studies students and their locus of control as it impacts their overall retention and persistence. Based on Kutztown University (KU) institutional data sources, over 9 percent of freshmen Exploratory Studies students fail at least one course in their first semester at KU. In addition to satisfaction with advising and the student-advisor relationship being a predictive measure of students’ intent to persist, this study examined whether locus of control was a predictor of Exploratory Studies students’ academic success. This research was guided by the theoretical framework of Tinto's (1975) model of student departure and Astin's (1985) theory of student involvement. The results of this study suggest that both the academic advising experience in association with Exploratory Studies students’ motivation, impacts their persistence beyond their first-year in college. The students' experiences and involvement, specifically in their first year of college, influence their persistence or departure as a reflection of their success or failure. Student engagement is a variable in student retention, and therefore student's interaction with their academic advisor results in the probability of first-year persistence for Exploratory Studies students.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



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