Article Co-Written by USD Researcher Receives National Honor

Image Sheilynda Stewart Sheilynda Stewart

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Students who come to college academically prepared or who receive help like tutoring when they arrive are much more likely to stay in school beyond their freshman year than students required to complete remedial coursework, a University of South Dakota researcher concluded in a co-written article that earned a national honor.

Sheilynda Stewart, Ph.D., co-authored “Factors Influencing College Persistence for First-Time Students,” which was published in the Spring 2015 edition of the Journal of Development Education and received the Outstanding Article Award from the National Center for Developmental Education. She plans to accept the honor next month at the group’s conference in Anaheim, California.

Stewart and her fellow researchers studied family characteristics, student academic performance, ACT scores and other factors and found that support services such as tutoring, mentoring, counseling, early intervention and financial aid improve a student’s academic deficiencies and increase the chance he or she stays in school beyond the first year.

Stewart is assistant vice president of Institutional Research, Planning & Assessment at USD.

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Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 205 undergraduate and 73 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 17:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 17 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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