ERIC Number: ED301267
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Nov-20
The Principles of Effective Retention.
An overview is provided of the problem of student attrition and the essential components of effective retention programs. Following introductory arguments that the secret of retention is in the development of communities committed to education rather than retention, the paper discusses several major causes of student attrition, including academic difficulty, problems in adjusting to college life, lack of clearly defined goals, uncertainty about career aspirations, and unwillingness to make academic commitments. Special attention is paid to the relationship between persistence and experiences that tend to integrate the individual into the college community, the incongruence between what the individual needs and the college provides, and student isolation. The next section underscores the need for institutional assessment as a beginning step in the formulation of an effective retention program. Next, features of effective retention programs are identified, including: (1) an emphasis on the communal nature of college life; (2) a commitment to students; (3) a commitment to education; and (4) clarity of educational mission. The final sections consider limitations on institutional action and issues related to resource allocation. (AJL)
Descriptors: College Role, Community Colleges, Dropout Characteristics, Dropout Prevention, Enrollment Influences, School Effectiveness, School Holding Power, School Responsibility, Self Evaluation (Groups), Student Adjustment, Student Attrition, Student Development, Two Year Colleges, Withdrawal (Education)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Fall Conference of the Maryland College Personnel Association (Largo, MD, November 20, 1987).