ERIC Number: ED366628
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Nov
Benchmark Factors in Student Retention.
Waggener, Anna T.; Smith, Constance K.
The first purpose of this study was to identify significant factors affecting the first benchmark in retaining students in college--the decision to enroll in the first fall semester after orientation. The second purpose was to examine enrollment decisions at the second benchmark--the decision to re-enroll in the second fall semester after freshman orientation. The study was conducted at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond with 2,262 new and transfer freshman applicants who attended orientation in 1989. The Supplementary Enrollment Information instrument developed locally by the institution was used to collect data. Chi square analysis and t-tests were used to analyze the data. Family encouragement, the need for writing skills, belief in self, the goal to obtain a degree, amount of commitment, and living arrangements were important variables in deciding to enroll at the first benchmark. The decision to return to college at the second fall semester seems to be influenced by external factors such as minimal or no employment and the work environment, and by the student's level of involvement and success in academic pursuits. The two factors that were important at both benchmarks were the goal to obtain a degree and the firm or extra commitment to that goal. Sixteen tables and two figures present study findings. (Contains 7 references.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Academic Persistence, Age Differences, Beliefs, Benchmarking, Chi Square, College Students, Decision Making, Dropouts, Enrollment, Ethnic Distribution, Family Influence, Goal Orientation, Higher Education, School Holding Power, Self Concept, Sex Differences, Student Attrition, Student Educational Objectives, Student Employment, Withdrawal (Education)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Mid-South Educational Research Association (22nd, New Orleans, LA, November 10-12, 1993).