Relative Impact of Interventions to Improve Achievement and Retention in Postsecondary Occupational Programs

Publication October 2013

This study examined the relationship of community college programs and services to retention of students in four community colleges, with an emphasis on determining whether outcomes vary for students in occupational programs and how student characteristics moderate these effects, with the goal of determining what is correlated with success. Overall, the study found evidence for positive impacts resulting from having an occupational major; receiving most types of financial aid; having higher placement scores, particularly in math; taking developmental math; accessing tutoring services in the first term; and choosing an occupational major. White students were more likely than others to be retained and students who experienced multiple stressful life events, or who worried about paying tuition, were less likely to be retained. It was more useful for students to complete all the credits in which they enrolled in the first term than to enroll full-time in the first term.

Bremer, C. D., Center, B., Jang, Y. J., & Opsal, C. (2013, October). Relative impact of interventions to improve achievement and retention in postsecondary occupational programs. Louisville, KY: National Research Center for Career and Technical Education, University of Louisville.

Download the report (PDF)