This study sought to increase student retention through the use of email interventions tailored to a specific group of ambitious students as determined by the Hogan Personality Inventory. Previous literature shows the relationship between ambition, the similar constructs of work drive and achievement seeking, and positive academic outcomes such as higher GPA, higher ratio of credits earned to credits attempted and increased likelihood of returning to the same institution. Focusing on students who rated high on ambition according to the Hogan Personality Inventory, the treatment group received emails with activities that may be of interest to help them build their resumes and meet other students with similar interests. The intervention did not have an effect on GPA or retention, but did show an increased ratio of credits earned compared to attempted. Results may have been due to the small sample size, ceiling effect, or the ratio of credits earned to attempted may have masked performance by encouraging students to complete courses they otherwise may not have.


Kristie Campana

First Committee Member

David Jones

Second Committee Member

Shawna Petersen-Brown

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)




Social and Behavioral Sciences

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License



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