First Year STEM Students’ Satisfaction with Peer Mentoring: A Predictor for Student Retention


  • Dean T. Spaulding Z-Score Inc., USA
  • Jelane A. Kennedy Central Connecticut State University, USA
  • Amanda Rózsavölgyi University at Albany/SUNY, USA
  • Wilfredo Colón Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA



Retention, STEM, First-year students, Peer mentoring


Peer mentoring is often used as a method to help retain first year STEM students. This study addressed the following research question: Can we predict in the first semester which first- year STEM students will return as sophomores and which ones will not? And if so, what factors were the best predictors of STEM students returning? An Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) was first employed and identified four factors: Academic Skills, Satisfaction with Mentors, Institutional Fit, and Academic Relationships). Next a binary regression was performed, and results showed that in the first semester of study student satisfaction with the university (i.e., Institutional Fit) was the most significant and greatest contributor for predicting students returning their sophomore year, followed by forming Academic Relationships; all of which was the result of participating in the mentoring program. Gender and race were not significant predictors for retention; however, further examination of the study’s effect size found the effect size to be .4, low moderate, meaning the study’s results are somewhat important. It is recommended the study be replicated with a smaller sample.


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How to Cite

Spaulding, D. T., Kennedy, J. A., Rózsavölgyi , A., & Colón , W. (2022). First Year STEM Students’ Satisfaction with Peer Mentoring: A Predictor for Student Retention. Journal of Research in STEM Education, 8(1), 24–34.