ERIC Number: ED143380
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Mar
How Many Students Are We Losing? Attrition and Inefficiency in Instructional Operations Re-Examined. Report No. 77-11.
Larkin, Paul G.
In this study of student attrition rates at Prince George's Community College, three indicators were analyzed: (1) term-to-term attrition, (2) within-term attrition, and (3) course "inefficiency" (failure). Data from 1972-73 through 1976-77 indicated that fall to spring attrition (term-to-term) was approximately 34%. Spring to fall averaged 47%, with graduation, successful transfers, and returns of stopouts tending to reduce this to 20%. Within-term withdrawals averaged 8% from 1971 to 1976, with 28% reporting work conflict as their withdrawal reason in 1976. Although course withdrawals decreased when non-punitive grading practices were established in 1974, highs reported in 1976 included 26% in chemistry, 18% in physics, and 17% each in engineering, political science, and psychology, compared with a college-wide average of 12%. Students not passing the course (course inefficiency) averaged 27% with higher failure rates in developmental studies, English, science-math, social sciences, and business technology. Early warning notices in fall 1976, did not change retention rates. Recommendations included allowing students to drop courses and petition for full or partial credit, based on course objectives being met; developing a student contract system; using continuing education units; and training faculty to identify student objectives. Attrition and grade data and a summary analysis of the spring semester 1977, are appended. (RT)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Prince George's Community Coll., Largo, MD. Office of Institutional Research.