Date of Award

Winter 1986

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Urban Services - Urban Education

Committee Director

Maurice R. Berube

Committee Member

Robert H. MacDonald

Committee Member

Jack Robinson

Committee Member

Donald Myers

Committee Member

Wolfgang Pindur


More than one-third of all entering freshmen will not be continuous students into a sophomore year. Academic and orientation interventions usually are based on the assumption that students will self-identify their needs and seek help. The intrusive model is an alternative intervention strategy based on the theory that students will respond to direct contact in which problems in their academic life are identified and assistance offered. To evaluate the effectiveness of the model, seventy-four freshmen who were placed on probation at the end of their first semester participated in an intrusive project involving counseling and evaluation of the causes of probation. Some of these students were also enrolled in a special orientation credit class. A control population was matched by admission and probation status and was not statistically different in grade point averages nor on demographic factors. At the end of their sophomore year, three semesters later, students in the experimental sample had a statistically (.05 level of significance) higher semester and cumulative grade point average than those in the control sample. When persisting and non-persisting status was compared, the experimental sample persisted at over twenty percentage points higher than the control sample with a suspension rate almost fifteen percentage points lower. A chi-square at the.05 level of significant difference was obtained. The highest grades and retention rate was attained by the experimental students enrolled in the orientation class.

The research has described an intrusive model of orientation and counseling and provided demographic information about probationary students. Probationary students involved in intrusive intervention had significantly higher grade point averages and persisted at a significantly higher rate after three semesters than probationary students in a matched control sample. The most successful students were those enrolled in the orientation class.