ERIC Number: ED336034
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-May
Reference Count: N/A
The Integration of Qualitative and Quantitative Research in a Longitudinal Retention Study. AIR 1991 Annual Forum Paper.
Tinto's retention model provided the theoretical framework for the design of a comprehensive student-retention study at an urban, public 4-year college. The study employed quantitative and qualitative methods to obtain a broad understanding of the many salient factors that contribute to student persistence over a 4-year period. Institutional data files were examined to obtain longitudinal retention data and student background information. Focus-group interviews and surveys with fourth-year persisters (N=114), supported by broadly-based survey data, were utilized to assess the students' academic and social integration with the college. Study results indicated that background characteristics were less critical to long-term retention than the students' level of integration within the institution. In this regard, academic and social factors were considered important to the development of strong educational goals and institutional commitments. The study also showed the importance of assessing student attitudes toward academic and social issues and of integrating a variety of qualitative and quantitative data in order to more fully understand the salient aspects of student retention. Contains 12 references. (GLR)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Academic Persistence, Adjustment (to Environment), College Students, Community Colleges, Evaluation Methods, Higher Education, Institutional Research, Interviews, Longitudinal Studies, School Holding Power, Statistical Analysis, Student Attrition, Student Educational Objectives, Surveys
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: AIR Forum; Tinto Model
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Forum of the Association for Institutional Research (31st, San Francisco, CA, May 26-29, 1991).