ERIC Number: ED418650
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996
Reference Count: N/A
The Retention of First Year Students in Atkinson College: Institutional Failure or Student Choice?
Grayson, J. Paul
This study evaluated whether the low retention rate (53 percent) between their first and second years of students at Atkinson College, the part-time evening school of York University (Ontario, Canada) is primarily due to institutional failure or to the characteristics and choices of mature students. A survey was sent to admitted students in September 1993 which covered students' background, potential barriers to education, and initial commitment to education. In February-March 1994 a second survey collected data on students' college experiences, their satisfaction, and final commitment to the college. A total of 489 identified students completed both surveys. Of these students, 53 percent returned to Atkinson in the Fall of 1994 and 43 percent left the university. Overall, the study found that many students who left the university never intended to complete a degree, took fewer courses, and knew by the end of the first year they would not return for a second year. Students who left the university did not differ from those who returned in terms of factors such as barriers to education, their first year experiences, and satisfaction levels. The study concluded that the low retention rate is more a reflection of student choices than of institutional failure. (Contains 11 references.) (DB)
Descriptors: Academic Aspiration, Academic Persistence, Adult Students, College Bound Students, College Freshmen, Evening Programs, Evening Students, Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Part Time Students, School Holding Power, Student Characteristics, Student Motivation, Undergraduate Study
Institute for Social Research, York University, 4700 Keel St., North York, Ontario, Canada M3J1P3 ($12.50).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: York Univ., Toronto (Ontario). Inst. for Social Research.
Identifiers: York University ON