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ERIC Number: ED399878
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Apr-9
Pages: 22
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Who Is Responsible for Graduate Student Attrition--The Individual or the Institution? Toward an Explanation of the High and Persistent Rate of Attrition.
Lovitts, Barbara E.
Graduate schools have responded to the problem of graduate student attrition by placing greater emphasis on selection, assuming that better, more informed admission decisions would result in declining attrition. Yet the problem persists, and the question arises as to whether attrition is due to individual characteristics of graduate students or to factors inherent in the structure and process of graduate education. This paper argues that attrition has less to do with what students bring to the university than with what happens to them after they have been admitted. It develops a social-structural explanation for persistent high attrition rates and why graduate schools have not developed effective solutions by bringing together attribution theory from social psychology (Jones & Nisbet, 1971; Ross, 1978); exit, voice, loyalty, and neglect theory from political economy (Hirschman, 1970); and the theory of greedy institutions from sociology (Coser, 1974). Graduate schools need to focus on the social forces which lead to atomism and pluralistic ignorance among students, forces which divide and isolate them from each other and from faculty, and which stifle voice and allow students to exit in silence. (Contains 24 references.) (Author/MAH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A