Date of Award

Fall 12-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Capital Development


Interdisciplinary Studies and Professional Development

Committee Chair

Heather Annulis

Committee Chair Department

Human Capital Development

Committee Member 2

Cyndi Gaudet

Committee Member 2 Department

Human Capital Development

Committee Member 3

Quincy Brown

Committee Member 3 Department

Human Capital Development

Committee Member 4

Dale Lunsford

Committee Member 4 Department

Human Capital Development


Student retention is a highly researched topic studied for many decades, but low retention of college students still exists today. As more states move to success-based funding formulas, it is more important than ever for higher education institutions to increase retention efforts (Swecker, 2011). Colleges and universities launch programs trying to combat and improve retention deficits. Research reveals that student engagement, academic advising, demographics, socioeconomic factors, and early selection of major within the first academic year play a role in retention.

The purpose of this study is to determine if early selection of major relates to the demographic factors of gender, ethnicity, age, first-generation college student, and Pell-eligibility. This study is a nonexperimental, descriptive research design utilizing the chi-square test of independence and binary logistic regression. Results indicate gender is independent of early selection of major, while ethnicity, age, and Pell-eligibility are dependent of early selection of major. The researcher was unable to analyze first-generation college student due to lack of data available.



RIDDLE_DISSERTATION_101215-1.doc (2009 kB)
Updated with Edits Made. 10.17.15