Research in Higher Education

, Volume 47, Issue 1, pp 89–109 | Cite as

Understanding How First-year Seminars Affect Persistence

  • Stephen R. PorterEmail author
  • Randy L. Swing


First-year seminars are nearly ubiquitous fixtures in American higher education, and research has documented their positive effect on student persistence. Only limited research, however, has attempted to isolate the impact of various aspects of first-year seminars on persistence, especially on a cross-institutional basis. We use a survey of almost 20,000 first-year students at 45 four-year institutions combined with institutional-level data to understand how aspects of first-year seminars affect early intentions to persist. Because survey respondents are grouped within dissimilar institutions, we use a multilevel modeling approach to model intent to persist.


first-year seminars persistence multilevel models course content logistic regression 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Educational Leadership and Policy StudiesIowa State UniversityAmesUSA
  2. 2.Policy Center on the First Year of CollegeBrevard CollegeBrevard

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