ERIC Number: ED294623
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987
Reference Count: N/A
Access, Excellence and Student Retention: A Leadership Commitment.
Ellison, Nolen M.; And Others
An overview is provided of problems and potential solutions associated with high dropout rates at community colleges. The first sections look at the extent and nature of the dropout problem, highlighting some of the causes of student discontinance, the costs to the individual and society, and the paradox of open access and student retention in higher education. Next, problems related to defining and measuring student retention and withdrawal are discussed, highlighting needs for common definitions, student-centered information, and program-centered information. After underscoring the need for comprehensive student retention programs, the paper offers suggestions for organizing and operating such a program and enumerates essential components. Next, dropout prevention strategies are suggested, including new students' orientation, financial assistance programs, programs promoting a sense of community, and programs promoting academic excellence. Specialized activities for retaining special student groups are also recommended, including programs for at-risk students, former students, and returning students. Guidance on designing and conducting sound, useful evaluations of retention programs is presented next, followed by a case study of Cuyahoga Community College's (Ohio) Urban Demonstration Model, a coordinated effort to facilitate high school to college transitions, improve retention and achievement, and promote two- to four-year college transfer. A list of 31 references is included. (EJV)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Cuyahoga Community Coll., Cleveland, OH.
Note: Reprinted from "Higher Education: Significant and Contemporary Concerns," INFO-TEC, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio, 1987.