ERIC Number: ED349878
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-May-11
Reference Count: N/A
Student Retention: Moving from Numbers to Action. AIR 1992 Annual Forum Paper.
Kinnick, Mary K.; Ricks, Mary F.
This paper describes a multi-faceted approach to improving student retention at an urban public university. It is noted that the students at this institution are older, working people; few live on campus and participate in what would be considered traditional student experiences. The paper examines the physical setting and external environment; the internal environment; and key events (defining the problem, listening to student voices, and expanding data gathering and implementation of pilot projects). Described are the actions of a Retention Committee which used qualitative and quantitative methods to identify problems that create barriers to student success or contribute to student departure. A cross-cultural model, involving faculty, administrators, policy makers, and students, was found to be useful. A committee chairperson was chosen who could easily move back and forth among the subcultures with their different values, modes of behavior, incentive systems, and ways of communicating. Preliminary findings indicate that problems of student success in beginning math classes are more complex than was first imagined, that few faculty members who are viewed as the best teachers actually teach freshmen, and that advising and campus activities are major student concerns. The elements of a model for transferring information from the research realm into the policy arena are described. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications of the case study for the field of institutional research. (Contains 16 references.) (GLR)
Descriptors: Academic Persistence, Change Strategies, Cultural Differences, Dropout Research, Higher Education, Institutional Evaluation, Institutional Research, Models, Nontraditional Students, Program Development, Student Attrition, Student Needs, Student Reaction, Urban Universities, Withdrawal (Education)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: AIR Forum
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Forum of the Association for Institutional Research (32nd, Atlanta, GA, May 10-13, 1992).