Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type

Capstone Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Public Administration (DPA)


Public Policy and Administration

Committee Chairperson

Allison H. Turner, Ph.D., MPA

Committee Member

Mark W. Davis, Ph.D, MPA


During the 2016-17 academic year, a comprehensive, public, medium-sized university in the Northeast implemented a pilot program to improve academic advising. Previously, academic advising at this university had been provided by faculty members, and since the university had experienced significant growth in recent years, faculty workload increased. The main objectives of the pilot program were to increase student satisfaction with academic advising, increase retention of first-year students, and reduce faculty workload. This program evaluation sought to determine how the increase in access to academic advising impacted student satisfaction, student retention, and faculty workload. Five academic coordinators were hired to advise first-year students. This program evaluation assessed each objective to determine if the pilot program was successful. Surveys were distributed to first-year students and to faculty over the course of two semesters, and first-year student retention rates were analyzed to determine if significant differences existed between the students who saw academic coordinators and those who did not. While the results did not conclusively determine that the program was a success, the findings implied that it was a step in the right direction. Recommendations were formed based on the findings, and future research projects were suggested as result of the program evaluation. Overall, the main recommendation was made to give the program more time to work and achieve its intended goals.