Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy





First Advisor

Soko Starobin


The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between demographic characteristics, pre-college academic characteristics, first-term academic engagement and completion characteristics, and environmental variables on undergraduate outcomes (i.e., change of major and selection of program of study) as first-year, first-term students transition into the postsecondary environment. The students in this study were freshmen majoring in engineering at a large Midwest research-1 institution with no selected program of study. In the fall of 2015, students received academic advising informed by the use of predictive analytics (i.e., the treatment). The objective was to explore the variables which influence change of major and the selection of program of study and also the impact of academic advising informed by predictive analytics on change of major and the selection of a program of study. The independent variables were: age, gender, ACT composite score, ACT math score, high school rank, number of first-term credits attempted, number of first-term credits completed, first-term cumulative GPA, honors program membership, and learning community memberships. The environmental variables (i.e., degree of commitment to degree, self-assessment of math skills, self-assessment of time management and planning, academic life satisfaction, academic self-efficacy that one can do well on challenging tasks and in hardest course), and environmental factors (i.e., academic self-efficacy, academic integration, social integration) were derived from the Mapworks® transition survey instrument. Logistic regression models were constructed to determine which variables were significant in predicting outcomes and to inform which variables were selected for use in propensity score analyses to determine the impact of the treatment on student outcomes.


Copyright Owner

Sylvester Charles Upah



File Format


File Size

174 pages