by Danielle Harris | October 1, 2012 12:56 pm
The role of study abroad programs in the efforts of increasing student retention rates is reviewed in the article Leaving the Classroom to Stay in College: Investigating the Relationship between Model UN Study Away and Retention.
This research was conducted by Augusta State University’s political science professors Craig Albert and Martha Ginn and ASU political science major Andrew Phillips. This article is set to be published in the Southeastern Political Review at the end of this year.
According to Albert, the study was conducted in 2011 and uses the university’s Model UN program as a case study to review a possible relationship between study abroad trips and student retention rates.
The program consisted of 18 students who answered several open-ended questions on how the semester-long program helped them become better students. With these audits, the researchers monitored the students’ success by observing how well they benefited from the program’s rigorous curriculum and participating in the annual National Model United Nations (NMUN) Conference in New York.
“As part of the Model UN program, our students must learn various skills that will not only prepare them to compete in the NMUN conference, but will groom them for their future careers,” said Albert. “Based on our results, we find that the Model UN program at ASU was successful in developing both academic and social integration, as well as increasing intellectual development.”
During the course of the study, Albert said four of the 18 students graduated from ASU. However, of the remaining students that continued in the course, one graduated in December 2011, two graduated in May 2012, three transferred to other colleges, and the remaining eight enrolled in classes at ASU for the fall 2012 semester.
Albert says the students who continued at ASU after completing the Model UN program achieved about a tenth of a point increase in their cumulative GPAs. In addition to intellectual development, he also said the results showed a significant improvement in the students’ self-confidence and in their public speaking skills.
Albert and Ginn have continued researching the program’s effects on graduation rates, and they have written another article with new information. However, that study is under review, and he hopes it will be published in the near future.
Source URL: http://www.asupr.com/asureport/2012/10/leaving-the-classroom-to-stay-in-college/
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