ERIC Number: ED307932
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-May
Reference Count: N/A
Toward a Definition of Student Persistence at the Community College.
One of the themes frequently appearing in the literature on student retention is that a primary determinant of student persistence is the interaction between students and faculty. Research reveals that students' educational intentions, goal commitment, and integration into the social and academic environment of the college are also influential. Studies conducted at Burlington County College (BCC) in New Jersey have revealed a 45% attrition rate between fall 1977 and fall 1978 among full-time freshmen, and a 20% second-semester attrition rate among fall 1978 freshmen. Research concerning the objectives of dropouts and their reasons for withdrawal indicated that 30% of the respondents to a 1988 survey had enrolled to complete an associate degree and then transfer, while over 60% indicated such primary goals as completing courses for transfer, personal interest, new job skills, or career change. Students' reasons for withdrawal were not related to circumstances over which the college had control. In an effort to develop a definition of persistence, the records of 438 graduates were studied to determine students' grade point average, degree received, full-/part-time status, transfer status, years taken to complete the degree, breaks in attendance, and initial academic status. Study findings included the following: (1) 36% of the graduates attended BCC full-time, 64% part-time, and 40% as transfer students; (2) full-time students took an average of 3 years to obtain a degree, while part-time students took an average of 9 years; and (3) 15% of the full-time students and 17% of the part-time students stopped out for periods ranging from 1 to 16 years during their attendance. (ALB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Princeton Univ., NJ. Mid-Career Fellowship Program.