This dissertation examines the course-enrollment behavior of first-year students at a public Midwestern university. Using the student choice construct, modern college choice theory, and the constructs of habitus, human capital, financial capital, social capital, cultural capital, along with background variables such as gender and locus of control, a course selection theory is proposed to explain students' voluntarily enrollment in a seminar designed to assist with the academic and social transitions to college. The literature review shows numerous studies have been done examining the impacts these courses may have on first-year students’ academic performance, retention, and graduation rates. In many of these studies, however, subsets of students were targeted for enrollment and participation in the seminars was not voluntary. In others, students self-select into the first-year transition seminars, raising questions about whether or not their subsequent success is attributable to their participation in these courses. Prior to this study, few, if any, studies have examined enrollment in these first-year seminars as the dependent variable and attempted to explain how various factors impact whether or not students voluntarily choose to enroll. This quantitative research looked at 7,561 first-year students enrolling in 20062007 and 2007-2008 and, using logistic regression, attempted to explain whether or not students chose to enroll in a transition seminar. Data was gathered from institutional offices (Admissions, Registrar, and Student Financial Aid) and through an Entering Student Survey completed by 99% of each entering cohort. Of the 52 independent variables included in the model, 17 were significant in one or more steps (or blocks) of the model.

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