Academic journal article College Student Journal

Retention Implications of a Relationship between Age and GPA

Academic journal article College Student Journal

Retention Implications of a Relationship between Age and GPA

Article excerpt

The purpose of this study was to identify the extent to which age and GPA are related among 158 students attending community college. The resulting positive correlation was .33 and statistically significant at the .0001 alpha level. It was concluded that a significant positive relationship exists between age and GPA. Retention implications for a convenience sample are discussed according to a Coordinated Program Studies Model.

**********

Although some students enter college around age 18, others choose to enter or return in their 30s and beyond (Haggen, 2000). Since 1970, the number of students over 25 years of age entering American higher education institutions has increased from 28% to 44% (U.S. Department of Education, 1996). The postponement of one's collegiate experience warrants an awareness of the age-related characteristics of students. Middle-aged females represent the fastest growing segment of the American post-secondary student population (National Center for Educational Statistics, 1995). Johnson, Schwartz, and Bower (2000) found age-related health concerns to be important stress factors among community college women. Moreover, "adult women would benefit from interventions by college staff and faculty members to help them manage these stresses and to increase their chances for successful completion of their programs" (p. 294).

Community college students are becoming increasingly diverse. According to Bishop-Clark & Lynch, "age hetero-geneity creates a unique atmosphere for learning" (1998, p. 21). Their study concluded that community college students and faculty prefer mixed-age classroom experiences. Gustentine & Keim (1996) found significant age differences among community college students on learning style. Traditionally aged students processed information through reflective observation, while nontraditionally aged students processed information through active experimentation. Age was found by Gonzenback (1993) to be a factor affecting community college students' decisions to continue their education beyond the associates' degree. Chi-square test of independence showed no dependence on GPA.

"Grade point average (GPA) is one widely accepted means of determining academic success and the degree to which students have learned what they are expected to learn" (McAloon, 1994, p. 13). In a survey of university students who began their academic career on a community college campus, Carlin (2001) found that transfer students did not differ significantly in GPA from students who began freshman studies at a major university. Carlin concluded that "community colleges are a good investment for most adult students who wish to pursue a baccalaureate degree" (2001, p. 169). Alcohol-related academic problems tend to be less apparent at non-residential community colleges than on residential university campuses (McAloon, 1994). Data further revealed that the more frequently a community college student reported drinking, the more likely they were to also report a lower GPA.

The characteristics of age and GPA exist to some extent among all students. The purpose of this study was to identify the extent to which age and GPA are related among community college students. Data concerning the relationship between age and GPA are sparse. This may be the first study to investigate the relationship between age and GPA among community college students.

Design

This study investigates the extent to which the variables of age and GPA are related among 158 students attending community college. According to Ary, Jacobs, and Razavieh, "[t]he possibility of the existence of relationships between variables is a reasonable question to investigate in educational research" (1985, p. 329). Due to its focus on relationship, this study is correlational in nature. "Correlational research methods help to clarify relationships and patterns of relationships among variables" (Ary, Jacobs & Razavieh, 1996, p. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.