ERIC Number: ED214609
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Feb-19
Reference Count: 0
Student Attrition at the Community College: The Need for Conceptual Clarification.
Phillips, Jeffrey C.
Because of the unique nature of community colleges, no single model or calculation of attrition can fit all institutions. Each college falls somewhere on the continuum between the degree-oriented junior college, in which students pursue a linear pattern of enrollment from entry to graduation, to the consumer-oriented community college, in which students' enrollment patterns tend to be sporadic or cyclical. Rates and types of attrition will depend on a college's position on the continuum and upon factors unique to its community. Different types of attrition, such as "stopping out"; leaving; and inter-quarter, intra-quarter, and inter-year attrition, must be carefully identified and analyzed so that retention efforts are directed toward the undesirable components and not wasted on functional or unavoidable attrition. At Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC), for example, enrollment and attrition patterns are extremely complex. To obtain a balanced view of NVCC's high attrition rate, one must consider that a certain amount of attrition is necessary to keep the college a functional system given space and resource limitations and that much inter-quarter attrition is unavoidable, as schedule conflicts and departure from the area are the main reasons for leaving. NVCC is currently conducting studies of intra-quarter course withdrawal in order to establish exit interview procedures, identify withdrawal factors, and determine high attrition courses and programs so that appropriate changes can be made. (AYC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Northern Virginia Community College
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, March 19-23, 1982).