The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

Higher Education Administration: Ed.D.


Educational Administration and Higher Education


School of Education

First Advisor

Steven McCullar

Second Advisor

Michael Mills

Third Advisor

Matthew Borcherding

Fourth Advisor

Annette Caflisch

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

Tutoring; Nursing; Associate Degree; Retention; Persistence; Peer tutor


Retention in higher education is a topic of concern, especially in high demand programs. The nursing profession is currently experiencing a shortage and nursing schools are seemingly not able to successfully graduate enough candidates to overcome the shortage. Developing targeted retention solutions for nursing education programs that work not only impacts the higher education community but the nation as a whole. Peer and professional tutoring services specific to nursing education as a retention solution may provide the academic and integrative impact that assists students in performance and improves retention. Understanding the experience of the student tutee is important in developing and modifying the tutoring services to create the greatest impact on retention. This study examined student experiences with peer and professional tutoring. The goal was to determine what aspects of tutoring the students felt helped them to persist in their nursing coursework. The study also attempted to determine why students prefer peer or professional tutoring based on their experiences. Participants included associate degree nursing students from a variety of semesters who attended either peer or professional tutoring. Individual interviews using a semi-structured format were conducted with participants. Colaizzi’s method of analysis was be used to identify themes from the data collected. Jeffreys (2013) Nursing Universal Retention and Success Model was used as a theoretical framework. Findings reinforce the model, indicating that professional integration through engagement with peers and nursing professionals help alter student academic factors and psychological outcomes. Students interviewed articulated that all of these elements together improved their academic outcomes, increasing persistence and program retention.



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