Morehead State University

Poster Title

The Impact of Campus Recreation and Wellness Facility on Student Enrollment and Retention

Institution

Morehead State University

Abstract

Traditionally, the studies on the benefits of a campus wellness center and recreation programs focus on the health benefits associated with students’ academic performance, physical and mental well-being and social support (Guerra &Williams, 2003; Matteucci, Albohn, Stoppa, & Mercier, 2012). This study was conducted to identify the importance of the role that campus wellness center may play on students’ preference in choosing their ideal institution. The respondents were 189 students (51.9% males and 47.6% females) randomly recruited in a cafeteria, classroom hallways, and quad of a regional state university in eastern Kentucky. About 32% of them actively utilize the center and provided service (at least three times per week). The results showed that students value the importance of the wellness center (M = 5.64 out of a 7- point scale) and provided programs (M = 4.74). No gender difference was found on the perceived importance of the recreation programs and the wellness facility. However, freshmen significantly rated a higher level of importance on the campus recreation program. Nearly three fourths of the respondents would recommend their friends to attend a school with a campus center as well. An overwhelmingly high level of satisfactory votes for the current facility and service seem to justify the spending for building the facility and achieve its expected role in supporting retention. Additional interview comments and suggestions were given to help the wellness staff plan activities and improve existing services and attract prospective students.

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The Impact of Campus Recreation and Wellness Facility on Student Enrollment and Retention

Traditionally, the studies on the benefits of a campus wellness center and recreation programs focus on the health benefits associated with students’ academic performance, physical and mental well-being and social support (Guerra &Williams, 2003; Matteucci, Albohn, Stoppa, & Mercier, 2012). This study was conducted to identify the importance of the role that campus wellness center may play on students’ preference in choosing their ideal institution. The respondents were 189 students (51.9% males and 47.6% females) randomly recruited in a cafeteria, classroom hallways, and quad of a regional state university in eastern Kentucky. About 32% of them actively utilize the center and provided service (at least three times per week). The results showed that students value the importance of the wellness center (M = 5.64 out of a 7- point scale) and provided programs (M = 4.74). No gender difference was found on the perceived importance of the recreation programs and the wellness facility. However, freshmen significantly rated a higher level of importance on the campus recreation program. Nearly three fourths of the respondents would recommend their friends to attend a school with a campus center as well. An overwhelmingly high level of satisfactory votes for the current facility and service seem to justify the spending for building the facility and achieve its expected role in supporting retention. Additional interview comments and suggestions were given to help the wellness staff plan activities and improve existing services and attract prospective students.