Term of Award

Fall 2018

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Teri Melton

Committee Member 1

Kip Sorgen

Committee Member 2

Antonio Gutierrez

Committee Member 3

Cara McFadden

Committee Member 3 Email



The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between collegiate recreation participation and students’ retention, progression, and graduation (RPG) rates. This study employed a quantitative, ex post facto research design along with descriptive analyses of two research questions. Archival data were gathered for an incoming first-year cohort of 3,516 students at a research-intensive university in the Southeast United States. The present study found that participants within the cohort who were classified as high participation in collegiate recreation were more likely to be retained from the first to the second year. Evidence of this finding was presented with statistical significance and higher odds ratios. Furthermore, high participation in collegiate recreation was a better predictor of progression in four out of five academic years. Only one academic year, 2014-2015, was found to favor low participation in progression of the cohort. Finally, graduation rates of the cohort were examined. Those within the high participation category presented statistical significance in graduation rates for four-years, five-years, and six-years. The findings of this research uncovered statistically significant evidence, as well as positive practical effects, linking collegiate recreation participation and RPG rates. The present study affirms the importance of collegiate recreation in a student’s life; therefore, recreational facilities should be met with financial support from the university.

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material