Exploration of MAP-Works® as a Tool to Facilitate Success of First-Year College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Students
Gonzales, Mary Jo
Students undergo a variety of transitions in their lives when they move away from home to begin their studies at Iowa State University (ISU). Altered living arrangements, enhanced level of academic competition, and a new social environment are but a few of the many adaptations that incoming freshmen students face. Although most students successfully make the transition to college life during their first year, approximately 15% of first-year students do not return to ISU for a second year. In order to proactively address students who may struggle during their first year we are exploring the potential use of a commercially available student success program (MAP-Works®) to help identify, early in their first semester, students who may struggle in the academic and/or social transition to ISU. In this study, we analyzed three years of data collected from full-time first-year students enrolled in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences during their first semester at ISU. Students identified by MAP-Works® as having lowest risk for problems with the transition to college life had higher grade point averages and higher one-year retention rates than moderate risk students. In addition, high risk students had lower grade point averages and lower retention rates than either moderate or low risk students. These data show the potential utility of MAP-Works® as a tool for faculty academic advisors to identify students who may benefit from targeted intervention strategies geared toward increasing student success.