Community college retention and the Gregorc Style Delineator, gender, and race

James Jules Pepe

Abstract

This research was designed to show if retention levels at a community college could be predicted by correlating a learning style inventory, the Gregorc Style Delineator, with students in selected classes. The study also included gender, race/ethnic group, and student learning style as independent variables. The study's purpose was to determine if any of these variables had a significant impact on retention levels. The data analysis included using the Gregorc Style Delineator as a variable independently to determine if it was able to predict retention levels. The Gregorc Style Delineator did not have a statistically significant outcome. In addition, the individual cells of the Gregorc Style Delineator, CS, AS, CR, and AR, were used in separate hypotheses, and the previously listed independent variables were included in the data analysis to determine if there were retention outcomes associated with gender or race/ethnic characteristics. Multiple regression analysis was conducted at the .05 level of significance. A community college in central Florida was the site where the study was conducted. The school's size is approximately 8,000 full- and part-time students. Six English and math teachers participated in the data collection, and there were 143 usable subjects. The Gregorc Style Delineator itself was not a significant indicator of retention levels and was not able to predict who would be retained. None of the independent variables (gender, race/ethnic) were found to have a significant outcome and predict retention. The study did indicate that there were less likely to drop out. The other Gregorc Style Delineator styles, CS, AS, and CR, did not have significant outcomes and were not more likely to stay enrolled in school than any other style. A noteworthy outcome of the were all concrete sequential instructors and yet were more likely to be retained. These results are not in accordance with previous studies where the matching of learning styles had a positive outcome on retention levels. This was beyond the control of the researcher since the instructors' learning styles were not known prior to conducting the study. One important limitation was the high dropout rate during the first week of the semester. It is recommended that the study be replicated during the first week of the semester because of this occurrence.