The effectiveness of education learning assistants program for student retention

Vladimir Briller, John D. Carpinelli, E. Perry Deess, Raymond Calluori, Clarisa Gonzalez-Lenahan

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


In 1995-1997, the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), via the Educational Opportunity Program (EOF), received funding from the Gateway Education Engineering Coalition for a retention initiative called the Educational Learning Assistants (ELA) Program. The main goal of the ELA program was to increase the retention rate of EOF sophomores; 422 students were served by this program. One of the objectives was to develop a special treatment which included, but was not limited to, the assignment of role model peers to work closely with the EOF residents and commuter sophomores to provide tutoring, peer counseling, and academic support workshops. This paper analyzes the performance of students in this program to gauge its effectiveness. The study is a quasi-experimental design: ELA students were included in the experimental group, and sophomores with similar gender/ethnic distribution, SAT and placement test scores were included in the comparison group. The study analyzed such learning outcomes as retention, graduation and passing rates of students in the ELA and comparison groups. For 1995, 1996 and 1997 sophomore cohorts, the ELA students' passing rates were slightly higher, although the difference was not statistically significant. The sophomore retention rates were the same for experimental and comparison groups after the first year of the program, however in the second and third years the retention rates of the experimental group were higher than the rates of the comparative group and the difference was statistically significant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2895-2902
Number of pages8
JournalASEE Annual Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2003
Event2003 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Staying in Tune with Engineering Education - Nashville, TN, United States
Duration: Jun 22 2003Jun 25 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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