Terry Musser, Undergraduate Studies Programs Coordinator at the Pennsylvania State University, received a NACADA research grant for her project – Investigation of the Reasons for Lowered Performance of Male Undergraduate College Students: Why Are Men at Risk?
A recent study at Penn State showed male students are less likely to engage with academic advisers and more likely to be dropped from degree status than female students (Penn State, 2012). In response to this alarming finding, and after a literature review that suggests males are struggling at other institutions, the Division of Undergraduate Studies’ Research and Assessment team is conducting a multiphase, comprehensive study of approximately 34,500 students enrolled at Penn State.
The study comprises three phases:
- statistical analysis of student demographics to determine whether male students were disproportionately at risk for academic difficulty;
- qualitative inquiry which explores how male students make meaning of masculinity in an academic context and conform their behaviors to these norms; and
- development and assessment of advising practices to engage male students by supporting their distinctive identity development.
The Division of Undergraduate Studies’ Research and Assessment team received a NACADA research grant to support the qualitative inquiry in Phase 2.
Dr. Terry Musser is an adjunct faculty member in the Kansas State University Academic Advising Graduate Program.