Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Resource Education and Workforce Development

First Advisor

Donna H. Redmann


The purpose of this study was to describe an academic program, ACCESS, initiated to support entering freshmen students who did not meet the required admission standards for Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. The ACCESS Program offered support in the areas of tutoring and special classes for the first 24 credit hours of study. The second part of the study was to compare academic and personal characteristics of ACCESS Students to a sample of Regularly Enrolled Freshmen Students to determine if differences existed between the two groups. Participants in the study were 244 ACCESS Students and 244 Regularly Enrolled Freshmen Students entering LSU in the Fall Semester, 1995. A computerized instrument was designed for data collection and analysis. Demographic information was obtained from the admission file (student data base). The demographic information identified the personal characteristics of freshmen students in the study at their time of application to LSU. The academic information was retrieved from the academic file (student data base) which identified academic characteristics prior to entering LSU (high school records), and academic characteristics while enrolled at LSU. The areas of investigation were guided by the objectives of the study. In describing the two groups of students, it was found that there were significant differences among the following variables; gender, race, age, and living on or off campus. Regarding the academic characteristics, it was found that there were significant differences among all the identifiable variables that pertained to the student's high school academic record. Once enrolled at LSU, there were no significant differences between the two groups of students in their first semester GPA. However, the ACCESS Students had a significantly lower grade point average and retention percentage for the remaining semesters under investigation. It was recommended that future developmental programs continue past the first 24 credit hours of enrollment. Lengthening the program allows the necessary support and assistance that many students need to get through the most critical time in their academic careers. The researcher also recommends comprehensive assessment for incoming freshmen and a collaborative working alliance with all resources on and off campus.