Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Counseling, Academic Counseling, Self-regulation

Major Advisor

Dr. O. Karan

Co-Major Advisor

Dr. J. O'Neil

Associate Advisor

Dr. M. Bray

Associate Advisor

Dr. K. Higgins

Associate Advisor

Dr. M. Ndiaye

Field of Study

Educational Psychology


Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


Half of all students who begin college fail to complete their degrees, a waste of resources and opportunities for both students and our society at large. Research should investigate practices to retain students who are at risk for dropping out, as few studies have examined whether academic counseling or study skills result in stronger academic performance in college students who experience academic difficulties. This mixed methods dissertation explored the use of a three week course in specific study strategies, such as self-testing, self-regulation, and effective note taking, as compared to a three week academic counseling intervention on the improved academic performance of students on academic probation. Quantitative methods, employing a randomized control study, investigated the use of two different approaches, a study skills course or an academic counseling intervention, on increased academic performance as measured by grade point average (GPA). The GPAs of these two groups were compared to each other as well as to a control group from the same academic probation student population that received no services. The minimum group size recommended by a statistical power analysis of 42 was not achieved, despite multiple attempts. A smaller than expected sample size for all three groups occurred, and no significant differences were found in the GPA’s of the 29 students who were randomly divided among the two intervention groups, as compared to the control groups. Qualitative methods also probed the utility of the two interventions. Results found that students who participated in a study skills class reported studying for twice as many hours after participating in either an academic study skills course or a counseling intervention. Participants in both groups also reported using more varied and effective study strategies than students in a control group, an important finding for the advisement and provision of services to students who enroll in college who are unprepared for academic challenges.