ERIC Number: ED310819
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
A Conceptual Framework for Describing the Causes of Student Attrition. Institutional Research Report #44.
This paper describes the conceptual model of retention used as the framework for research on institutional effectiveness at the Community College of Philadelphia (CCP). First, an overview of the literature on student attrition is presented, followed by a specific review of research based on Tinto's model of student attrition. This model maintains that the two primary factors related to student withdrawal are the personal characteristics of the student and the nature of the student's interaction with the college. The review indicates, however, that inconsistencies exist in the correlation of these two factors to student persistence. Next, Tinto's model is applied to recent research findings at CCP to determine its appropriateness as a guide for developing strategies to increase student retention. Specifically, general retention patterns at the college are compared to student characteristics, revealing the following: (1) in general, 6% of the White students were likely to graduate in two years, compared to 2.2% of the Black students, 1.5% of the Asian students, and 1.4% of the Hispanic students; (2) while students receiving financial aid were more likely to graduate than students receiving no aid, they were also more likely to be dismissed for academic reasons; (3) a close correlation was found between low admissions test scores and student withdrawal; (4) students who attended private high schools generally had higher grade point averages and lower attrition rates than public school graduates; and (5) students who entered CCP at a remedial level and enrolled in remedial programs persevered as well as college-level entrants. Finally, the paper concludes that a correlation does exist between student characteristics, college experience, and persistence in CCP research findings, making Tinto's model an appropriate guideline for institutional assessment efforts. A 55-item bibliography is appended. (BCY)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Philadelphia Community Coll., PA. Office of Institutional Research.