ERIC Number: ED252749
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Similarity of Students' Experiences and Accuracy of Faculty and Staff Perceptions: Issues for Student Retention.
Heinemann, Allen W.; And Others
Research on attrition of university students has recently examined "dropping out" as the culmination of a complex interactive process. In order to examine differences between successful students (persisters) and students who officially withdrew from a major university, and to examine the accuracy of faculty and staff perceptions of students' experiences, a questionnaire was sent to a random sample of 1,000 currently enrolled undergraduates and 1,200 faculty and staff at the University of Kansas. Students withdrawing from the university during the following academic year were mailed the survey along with demographic questions. The response rates were 53.7% from the persisting students, 32.0% from faculty and staff, and 13.7% from withdrawing students. Analysis of results indicated that withdrawing students had more adjustment difficulties than persisters. Withdrawing students compared to persisters reported experiencing less development of creative potential, coping less well with exams, having poorer study habits, and spending more energy in enhancing social relationships. They also reported feeling lonelier, having more financial difficulties, and expecting greater than realized academic success than persisters. The disparate factor structure of faculty and staff responses and the thematically unrelated items within each factor supported the conclusion that faculty and staff were not consistent in perceiving student needs. Recommendations for enhancing student retention include establishing realistic expectations in college-bound high school students, providing academic skills programs, and educating administrators, faculty, and students about each others' expectations. (LLL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (92nd, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, August 24-28, 1984).