EARLY ALERT PRACTICES IN NORTH CAROLINA COMMUNITY COLLEGES
Mullis, Kimberly J
Early alert systems are widely considered best practice in retention efforts to promote student success and educational goal attainment. The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine early alert practices in North Carolina community colleges, delineate differences between rural and non-rural institutions and among different sized institutions, and determine the impact of early alert systems on student outcomes. Student retention theory and retention frameworks developed by Tinto, Kuh, and Bean and Metzner ungird the study. The overall response rate for this study was 62.1%, with 36 out of 58 North Carolina community colleges electing to participate. Qualtrics survey data were analyzed using SPSS software and statistical tests used to make inferences about early alert system use, effectiveness, and assessment. Early alert use is on the rise in NC community colleges, as most colleges either have an early alert system or are in the planning process. The amount of technology used and degree of human involvement varies greatly across institutions. Research indicated that institutional commitment, investment of monetary and personnel resources, and campus buy-in are key to early alert success. Study findings indicate institution location and size have no significant impact on early alert system adoption despite the fact that resources can be more limited at smaller and rural colleges. Further, this study explored early alert system effectiveness and found no statistically significant effect of early alert system use on student retention rates. These findings are consistent with other research findings that cast doubt on early alert system effectiveness. However, colleges with the highest retention rates have early alert systems, and the majority of colleges report improved student outcomes with early alert use. These study findings support student retention theorists' assertions that early alert systems can improve student academic achievement, retention, and degree completion. Many early alert users do not formally assess early alert system effectiveness, but those that do reported medium cost-effectiveness. Further, colleges indicated early alert system use makes a moderate contribution to campus retention. Given the newness of many early alert systems, there is still much to be researched in terms of implementation and effectiveness.
Mullis, Kimberly J. (April 2019). EARLY ALERT PRACTICES IN NORTH CAROLINA COMMUNITY COLLEGES (Doctoral Dissertation, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/7203.)
Mullis, Kimberly J. EARLY ALERT PRACTICES IN NORTH CAROLINA COMMUNITY COLLEGES. Doctoral Dissertation. East Carolina University, April 2019. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/7203. October 24, 2020.
Mullis, Kimberly J, “EARLY ALERT PRACTICES IN NORTH CAROLINA COMMUNITY COLLEGES” (Doctoral Dissertation., East Carolina University, April 2019).
Mullis, Kimberly J. EARLY ALERT PRACTICES IN NORTH CAROLINA COMMUNITY COLLEGES [Doctoral Dissertation]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; April 2019.
East Carolina University