School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Sarah Horne


Academic Advising, Community College, Traditional Student, Causal-comparative, Retention, Student Engagement


Education | Higher Education


Although research shows the utilization of advising services can impact academic performance and provide students with a point of connection to postsecondary institutions, the effect of advising services in the experiences of traditional-aged college student attending community colleges has only recently been explored. This causal-comparative research study was designed to address the gap in literature concerning the use and effectiveness of academic advising services in community colleges. The study included a convenience sample of 99 community college students, between the ages of 18 and 24 years, from a small community college. Participants completed an online version of the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) and data were collected from March 2019 through November 2019. A Hotelling’s T2 test was conducted to determine if the utilization of academic advising services significantly impacted participant grade point averages (GPAs), number of semesters enrolled, and level of student engagement. The results of the Hotelling’s T2 test were statistically significant; therefore, post-hoc testing in the form of three independent samples t-tests was conducted. The study found that there was only a statistically significant difference in the GPAs of participants who utilized academic advising services when compared to those who did not. There were no statistically significant differences for number of semesters enrolled or level of student engagement between the two groups. Further research is recommended to determine if these results can be generalized to the overall population or if a longitudinal design may provide a clearer perspective of the effect of advising services over time.