ERIC Number: ED295718
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Jan-15
Study of Students Who Withdrew from Courses, 1982-1986. Volume XVI, No. 5.
A study was conducted at William Rainey Harper College (WRHC) to develop a profile of students who withdrew from courses between 1982 and 1986 and to compare this profile with the results of a 1979-82 withdrawal study. For the past 4 years, each degree credit student who has officially withdrawn from a course has been asked to complete a survey form, indicating withdrawal status (i.e., withdrawing from one course only, withdrawing from more than one course, withdrawing from WRHC completely), whether a counselor had been consulted, principal reason for withdrawal, method of registration, and general comments. Between 1982 and 1986, 14% of the 325,000 course enrollments resulted in official withdrawals, representing a 2.5% increase in withdrawals over the 1978-82 period. An analysis of these withdrawals indicated the following: (1) one out of every five course withdrawals resulted in complete withdrawal from WRHC, though almost 75% of the students who withdrew completely planned to return to WRHC one day; (2) 30% of those withdrawing gave reasons completely beyond WRHC's control, and only 7% indicated WRHC as the primary cause for withdrawal; (3) the major reasons cited for withdrawals included personal, family or health problems, job pressures, inconvenient meeting times, or too heavy a course load; (4) withdrawals due to poor grades or falling behind in the course increased from 1.3% in 1982 to 15.2% in 1986; (5) there was a decrease in withdrawals due to course objectives not being related to students' needs and students being inadequately prepared for the course; and (6) summer semester students were less likely to withdraw and withdrew for different reasons when compared to students in the fall and spring semesters. The student withdrawal survey and detailed findings are appended. (EJV)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires; Numerical/Quantitative Data
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: William Rainey Harper Coll., Palatine, IL. Office of Planning and Research.