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Impact Of Open Door Policy In Admissions On Retention Of Et Students

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.549.1 - 6.549.5



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Paper Authors

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Judith Grimes

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Huiming Wang

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Virendra Varma

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1149

Impact of Open Door Policy in Admissions on Retention of ET Students Virendra K. Varma, Judith W. Grimes, Huiming Wang Missouri Western State College


Several institutions of higher education in the United States provide open access to admission to students believing that citizens should have the opportunity to pursue higher education. There are no entrance requirements in terms of ACT or SAT scores. These institutions also offer College 101 or University 101 courses, in addition to developmental courses in mathematics and english, that facilitate the transition of students into college life and help retain them in college. Missouri Western State College (MWSC) is one such open access institution which offers COL 101: Freshman Seminar courses and believes in learning communities, and freshman interest groups (FIG). A FIG is a group of 20-22 MWSC freshmen who enroll in the same cluster of classes during their freshman year on campus. Each FIG creates a supportive and friendly learning community which facilitates the freshman year experience at Missouri Western. This paper describes the impact of student success programs at Missouri Western in retention of engineering technology students, and the impact of teaching a section of COL 101 course. Some statistics are cited that point to success in strategies in retention of ET students at Missouri Western State College.


In 1999, Missouri Western State College, was one of seven colleges and universities nationwide to receive the 1999 Retention Excellence Award from Noel-Levitz, an organization specializing in higher education enrollment management, financial aid and student retention. Missouri Western received the award due to its success in retaining students through its Access Plus Program.1

All across the nation, faculty are experiencing increasingly diverse classrooms. Missouri Western’s Access Plus program is a program that helps under-prepared students begin college on the right foot. Because of the college’s open door policy for admission, college accepts students of varying abilities. While students are required to take ACT tests to facilitate their placement in appropriate mathematics and english courses, there is no requirement for a minimum score for admission to the college. Access Plus initiative has increased the freshman-to-sophomore retention rate by 10 percent, and the number of freshman on probation has dropped by 13 percent.

Open access institutions, or open-door admission policy institutions, often have high attrition rates; these high rates of student attrition are attributed, in part, to the under-prepared student population.2 Missouri Western also has an increasing numbers of honors students. Taking into consideration the impact Missouri Western’s Access Plus program has had on the retention rates, it is obvious that there are some steps that can be taken to counteract the challenges of an

“Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference &Exposition Copyright © 2001, American Society for Engineering Education”

Grimes, J., & Wang, H., & Varma, V. (2001, June), Impact Of Open Door Policy In Admissions On Retention Of Et Students Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9345

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