Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Daniel C. Robinson


This study was conducted to research the background of the Student Support Services Program and its capability as a retention program at a predominantly White institution. The Student Support Services Program was originally funded under Title IV of the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965 as Special Services for Disadvantaged Students. This name was changed to the current Student Support Services Program in 1972, when the original programs were transferred from the Office of Economic Opportunity to the Office of Higher Education Programs.;Very few research studies have been conducted to ascertain why and how Student Support Services work to retain students, especially students of color, although numerous statistical data have been gathered throughout the years. Therefore, this study was conducted specifically to determine if the length of time eligible students spend in the Student Support Services Program increases their persistence and graduation rates. The population of the study was comprised of 566 Student Support Services program participants who were enrolled at Iowa State University from 1983--1999. Three major findings indicate that the number of contact hours has a positive influence on (1) grade point average, (2) total credit hours attempted, and (3) the propensity to graduate from the institution in a reasonable amount of time. As an outcome of this study an array of ideas will be generated and presented for future use by student support services professionals as well as researchers who are interested in conducting further study.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Carol Ann Mahan



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

138 pages