ERIC Number: ED341410
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Retention of Minnesota College Students: What About the Community Colleges? Minnesota House of Representatives Research Department Working Paper 5.
Fine, Kerry Kinney; Lehnertz, Mary Jane
In 1988, a study was conducted by the Research Department of the Minnesota House of Representatives to examine college student retention and enrollment patterns in the state. Community college retention was examined by tracking the progress of fall 1987 entering freshmen through 1990. Interviews, focusing on students' plans, background, preparation for college, and freshman year experiences, were conducted with a sample of retained students and dropouts who entered as freshmen in fall 1988. Study findings included the following: (1) by their second year of enrollment, 55% of the 1987 new entering freshmen (NEF) had dropped out; (2) 16% of the NEF transferred by the beginning of their fourth year of enrollment, with full-time students transferring at a higher rate than part-timers; (3) 35% of the students interviewed were not enrolled in a degree program and did not intend to pursue a degree; (4) by spring 1991, 25% of the fall 1988 degree-seeking students had transferred, 33% had dropped out, 30% were still enrolled, and 13% were graduates; (5) the majority of community college students received some type of financial aid, most commonly a grant; (6) 82% of all students were employed, with dropouts working the most hours and four-year transfers working the fewest; (7) 34% of all students enrolled in at least one remedial or basic skills course; and (8) 29% of the students reported some problem in enrolling in desired courses. The study report includes a discussion of the policy implications of the findings and options for addressing such problems as the lack of focus in the community college mission, low levels of student academic preparation, lack of timely completion, and low rates of transfer to four-year colleges. Data tables, graphs, and figures are provided. (JMC)
Descriptors: Academic Persistence, College Transfer Students, Community Colleges, Comparative Analysis, Dropouts, Enrollment, Enrollment Trends, Graduate Surveys, Graphs, Interviews, Longitudinal Studies, Participant Satisfaction, State Surveys, Student Attitudes, Student Attrition, Student Characteristics, Student Educational Objectives, Tables (Data), Telephone Surveys, Two Year Colleges
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Numerical/Quantitative Data; Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Minnesota House of Representatives, St. Paul. Research Dept.