ERIC Number: ED387165
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Sep
Implications for Retention Strategies of Differential Student Progress Rates and the Literature on Student Retention. Research Report No. 95-4.
National research suggests that 36% of full-time students enrolled in community and technical colleges and planning to stay in college for 2 or more years leave by the end of their first year and do not return to college over a 3-year period. While students' reasons for leaving are often unrelated to the college, the literature suggests that colleges can do more to help students make the progress they desire. The Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (WSBCTC) has developed a tracking methodology which serves as an indicator of student retention and identifies groups having the most difficulty making progress. Rather than focusing on fall to fall retention, the methodology focuses on the percent of students who do not make a successful transition to a second quarter, those who stay for 2 and 3 quarters, and those who enroll for 4 quarters or more. Data drawn from the methodology for fall 1991-93 indicate that 1 in 5 students was an early leaver, 29% made some progress toward their goal, and 50% graduated or made substantial progress. Suggestions for improving retention, based on this data and on the literature, include the following: (1) concentrating on students' initial experiences at college; (2) helping students to learn that they can do college-level work, that their ideas have value, and that they are worthy of respect; (3) helping students learn to balance work- and family-related responsibilities with student-related ones; and (4) concentrating efforts on students who are most likely to leave early, such as degree-seeking students enrolled part-time. (Contains 12 references.) (Data tables from research conducted at the WSBCTC are appended.) (KP)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, Olympia. Education Div.