Exploring Retention and Persistence Among Undergraduate Criminal Justice and Criminology Students

Michael P. Brown, Ball State University
Gregory Morrison, Ball State University

Findings are presented from the first two years of a five-year longitudinal study of student retention, academic performance, and persistence toward graduation. The population of interest is undergraduate criminal justice and criminology majors and minors at Ball State University (N=600). The data on a wide range of possible correlates currently under study result from the investigators' development and administration of a 37-item instrument (n=350). This survey probed students' reading, studying, writing, and examination preparation habits; absenteeism; use of faculty advising; living, working, and college lives; living arrangements and support systems; as well as their and parental demographic information. Additional University data, sucha s University, academic jajor, and semester GPAs, were merged with these data. The present cross-sectional examination therefore provides a preliminary view of correlates of academic performance. Of particular interest is the tracking of sophomore majors and minors with GPAs below 2.00 and thus "at-risk" for not graduating. This provides for numerous useful comparisons and contrasts with their peers who achieve varying degrees of academic success. Findings also help in identifying potential strategies for successfully intervening with students and maximizing their academic experiences.

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Updated 05/20/2006