ERIC Number: ED219996
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
Reference Count: 0
Student Persistence and Benefits: Program Selection and Degree Completion.
Dressel, Paul L.; Simpson, William A.
The critical relationship between students and their programs of study that affects student retention is examined. Current views of retention are reviewed, and the nature of retention studies that have been conducted during the last decade is analyzed. It is suggested that studies of persistence be conducted with the following possibilities in mind: the individual is in an inappropriate program in part perhaps because the institution does not provide adequate assistance in or opportunity for program selection; or the program is unattractive, ineffective, or overspecialized for many prospective students. Attention is directed to initial major or program selection, changing majors, options available to a student in initial program selection or in making a program change, and the case of transfer students. A method of analyzing major or program changes at the levels of department or program, division or college, and institution is illustrated. The persistence data at Michigan State University and a second unidentified university are examined as illustration. Issues to be included in the study of persistence include: the group of students to be considered, the focus of the study (e.g., degree attainment or other educational goals); and the types of action that may be taken as the result of findings. Factors involved in student persistence include interests of students in programs, the nature and amount of work required by a program, faculty-student rapport, and the size of the program. Recommendations for increasing persistence are included. Appended materials include questions about retention studies, information from the University of Illinois Handbook, and a bibliography. (SW)
Descriptors: Academic Aspiration, Academic Persistence, Case Studies, College Graduates, College Programs, College Students, Decision Making, Degrees (Academic), Goal Orientation, Higher Education, Majors (Students), Research Design, Specialization, Student Attitudes, Student Characteristics, Student Educational Objectives, Student Interests, Student Needs
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: EXXON Education Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Michigan State University