Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Philosophy (Ph.D)


Education Specialties

First Advisor

Clare Waterman Irwin

Second Advisor

Maria Mello


College student attrition can cause a multitude of issues for students and universities. When a student leaves a program, the student may have to take additional credits and thus spend more on tuition, and the program may lose funding due to reduced enrollment. At a small private university in New Jersey, science, technology, engineering, mathematics and psychology (STEM) students were more likely than non-STEM students to change degree programs and be deemed at risk of failing. The purpose of this study was to determine whether a targeted response to intervention program that used academic coaching positively affected retention and persistence of STEM student. To fulfill these purposes, the Proactive Alerts for Student Success (PASS) Program, a response to intervention (RTI) model that uses academic coaching rather than remediation, was investigated in connection with successful completion of STEM classes, semester-to-semester retention of STEM students, and student desire to continue in STEM. It was found that students with lower GPAs were more likely to have taken a remedial course, and that those who engaged in the program by attending at least three of the seven bi-weekly meetings were more likely to be retained and have a stronger desire to stay in STEM than those who did not engage.

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