ERIC Number: ED350894
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Issues in College Student Retention.
Higher Education Extension Service Review, v3 n1 Fall 1991
This journal issue discusses student attrition and the major recurring themes regarding students withdrawing from college. It is revealed that less than 15 percent of student departures are as a result of academic dismissal, with the remaining students leaving voluntarily, even when their academic performance is clearly acceptable. The following recurrent themes of student attrition are examined: (1) uncertainty both about what to expect from college and its rewards; (2) transition/adjustment problems; (3) financial difficulties; and (4) academic underpreparation. The extremely high attrition rates during the freshman year underscore the difficulties students face in making the adjustment to college life. Careerism may contribute to the stress of adjustment by forcing an early decision about majors and careers. Integration into college life, particularly among minorities, is important for sustaining student commitment. However, minority students, particularly blacks, have difficulty with integration into a largely white environment; this may explain their lower persistence rates. Theories such as the college-fit model and Tinto's path analysis model help identify the factors that influence student persistence. These theories point to the selection process as one way to increase persistence, but such approaches may drive selection to a more homogeneous population rather than facilitating the adjustment of all students. (Contains 38 references.) A brief "Viewpoint" column (Carole Morning) addresses college attrition. (Contains 11 references.) (BLR)
Descriptors: Academic Persistence, College Students, Dropout Research, Dropout Prevention, Higher Education, Minority Groups, Models, School Holding Power, Student Adjustment, Student Attrition, Student College Relationship, Teacher Student Relationship, Theories
Higher Education Extension Service, P.O. Box 40, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, New York 10027 (free while supplies lasts).
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: Higher Education Extension Service, New York, NY.