ERIC Number: ED373833
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
The Relative Importance of Selected Factors to Attrition at Public Community Colleges.
In order to better understand the factors that contribute to student attrition in community colleges, a study was undertaken to track a cohort of 1990 first-time students at a Florida public community college for 2 years. Once the cohort students were identified, a file was built containing both demographic and academic attributes, including age, race, sex, first term grade point average, scores on three subsets of placement tests, full-time/part-time status, enrollment in college preparatory courses, financial aid status, degree expectations, and type of high school diploma earned. These variables were analyzed to develop a functional relationship to students' continued enrollment or continuing education elsewhere in fall 1991 and fall 1992. Students found to be most likely to remain enrolled were "traditional" students, defined as young, not working full-time, not enrolled in college preparatory courses, attending college full-time, and earning high grades. Students least likely to return were older, part-time students who worked full-time and enrolled in college preparatory courses. In addition, having a standard high school diploma increased the likelihood of first-year retention by a factor of 4.5. The study concluded that, since the population found to be least likely to persist is also the majority population at most public community colleges, colleges should keep this profile in mind when developing intervention strategies. (MAB)
Descriptors: Academic Persistence, College Attendance, Community Colleges, Dropout Research, Dropouts, Enrollment Influences, Predictor Variables, Public Colleges, School Demography, School Holding Power, Student Attrition, Student Characteristics, Two Year College Students, Two Year Colleges, Withdrawal (Education)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Southeastern Association for Community Colleges (23rd, Savannah, GA, August 1-3, 1994).