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ERIC Number: ED246783
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-May
Reference Count: 0
Educational Maturity, Race, and Student Persistence in College. AIR Annual 1984 Forum Paper.
Sanford, Timothy R.; Naylor, Paul D.
The relationship of students' certainty about academic and career plans to student retention and persistence to graduation was investigated. The effect of race was also considered. In fall 1979 a survey was administered to 3,277 freshmen entering a major, public, research university. Respondents indicated reasons for choosing a college, their career and educational plans, and their high school and family background. The survey data were combined with data from the university's student retention file to create a longitudinal database. Yearly updates have recorded each student's retention status and cumulative grade point average through summer 1983. For research purposes, educational maturity was linked to a student's certainty about a college major and career choice. It was found that mature students persisted at a rate slightly lower than the rest of the freshman class. The small group of educationally immature students had a higher retention rate than did the mature students. A corollary finding was that the educationally mature students were more likely to be suspended (primarily for academic ineligibility) than were their more immature peers. Differences in persistence and educational maturity for black and white students were also assessed, with inconclusive results. This research, it is admitted, has not demonstrated the purposes for which it was intended. The relationship between persistence in college, race, and educational maturity remains an intriguing one, however, and future research appears to be indicated. (SW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: AIR Forum
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Forum of the Association for Institutional Research (24th, Fort Worth, TX, May 6-9, 1984).