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Using High School Data to Predict College Success in Palau

Region:
Pacific
Description:

The purpose of this study was to examine the college success of students who graduated from Palau High School between spring 2013 and spring 2015 and who enrolled at Palau Community College the fall semester immediately following their high school graduation. It also examined the relationships between student characteristics and three college success outcomes. The study’s sample included 234 students. The college success outcomes used in the study were first-year college cumulative grade point average, persistence to a second year of college, and earning an associate degree or certificate. Using existing data, researchers calculated descriptive statistics to describe the percentage of students who met each college success outcome. Multiple logistic regression models determined which student demographic and academic preparation characteristics predicted meeting the college success outcomes. The study results show that 60 percent of all students had a first-year college cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher, 56 percent persisted to a second year, and 20 percent earned an associate degree or certificate within three years. Having higher high school grade point averages predicted having higher first-year college grade point averages and being more likely to complete a degree or certificate within three years. Additionally, having higher grade 12 Palau Achievement Test scores, a standardized test administered in the Republic of Palau, predicted being more likely to have a higher first-year college grade point average. High school English course grades also predicted some college success outcomes. Specifically, earning a grade C or higher in grade 9 English predicted completing a certificate or degree within three years, and earning a grade of C or higher in grade 12 English predicted persisting to a second year. Finally, students who enrolled in the Palau High School Construction Technology Career Academy were less likely than students in other career academies to persist to a second year or complete a degree or certificate within three years. These findings suggest that most students achieved the early college success outcomes of earning a first-year college grade point average of 2.0 or higher and persisting to a second year, but that this did not always translate to graduating with a college degree or certificate within three years. Providing additional supports for students in college based on their high school performance, examining supports available for English learners at Palau High school, and reviewing the alignment of the Palau High School Construction Technology Career Academy and the needs of students who plan to attend college could help inform efforts to support the college success of students in Palau. Palau Community College may also want to conduct future studies to examine additional factors at the college, such as the effects of course sequencing or academic counseling services, to improve college success.

Publication Type:
Descriptive Study
Online Availability:
Publication Date:
February 2021