WWC review of this study

The Impact of a Goal-Setting Intervention for Engineering Students on Academic Probation

Bowman, N. A., Jang, N., Kivlighan, D. M., Schneider, N., Ye, X. (2020). Journal of Higher Education, 61(1): 142-166. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1241329

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    113
     Students
    , grade
    PS

Reviewed: May 2021

No statistically significant positive
findings
Meets WWC standards without reservations
College academic achievement outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Term GPA - Spring 2017

Goal Setting vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
106 students

N/A

N/A

No

--
Progressing in college outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

In Good Academic Standing

Goal Setting vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
106 students

N/A

N/A

No

--


Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Female: 15%
    Male: 85%

  • Urban
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    Midwest
  • Race
    Asian
    5%
    Black
    12%
    Other or unknown
    10%
    White
    60%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic    
    13%
    Not Hispanic or Latino    
    87%

Setting

Researchers conducted the study with undergraduates who attended a public Midwestern university, majored in engineering, placed on academic probation from Fall 2006 due to low semester GPA, and remained in engineering at the start of spring 2017.

Study sample

For the 113 engineering majors who were placed on academic probation as a result of their low semester GPA in Fall 2016 and who remained in engineering at the start of Spring 2017, 60% of participants were White, 13% were Latino/Hispanic,12% were Black/African American, 5% were Asian/Pacific Islander, and 10% were there unknown or international students. Addtionally, 30% were in their first year of college, 25% were first-generation students, and 15% were female.

Intervention Group

The associate dean of the College of Engineering notified undergraduates of their probationary status and described how to return to good academic standing using resources available to students. The Dean also described how to complete an academic performance improvement plan and meet with an academic advisor to go over it.

Comparison Group

The associate dean of the College of Engineering notified undergraduates of their probationary status and described how to return to good academic standing using resources available to students. However, the notification letter did not contain any additional information about an academic performance improvement plan or a meeting with an academic advisor to go over it.

Support for implementation

The study does not report any supports for implementation.

 

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