Investigating Conditions for Student Success at an American University in the Middle East

  •  Karma El Hassan    


It is of great significance to an institution of higher education to meet its goals and to establish its institutional effectiveness and that it has a framework for discussing its institutional performance results, accordingly this study aims to investigate a) the conditions for student success at the University with respect to the five benchmarks of effective educational practices (Kuh, 2009); b) significant differences in conditions for student success across important student populations (gender, GPA, number of credits completed, and academic year); and c) how do these conditions contribute to outcomes valued by the institution (students’ growth, satisfaction, and recommendation of the University). Responses of 1853 students’ on the College Outcomes Survey (COS) for years 2007-2010 were used to answer the various research questions of the study. COS Items were selected that measured students’ time allocations and engagement in various activities reflecting effective educational practices, in addition to valued outcomes. Data analysis involved first testing the measurement model and estimating overall fit of the data using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). Descriptive statistics, and correlations were reported for the benchmarks of effective educational practices, and differences in benchmark experiences by subgroup were investigated. Finally, a structural model tested the influence of benchmarks of academic practice on valued outcomes and a regression was conducted to investigate relationship between student activities and the benchmarks. Results revealed good fit of the data for the model, identified University’s performance on benchmarks of effective educational practices and their relationship to outcomes valued by the University. Implications for practice were discussed.

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