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ERIC Number: ED414869
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997
Pages: 18
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Dimensions of Retention: Findings from Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches.
Belcheir, Marcia J.; Michener, Barbara
Quantitative and qualitative methods were used to study retention and first-semester grade point average at Boise State University (Idaho), a metropolitan university with many commuter students. The quantitative portion of the study was based on questionnaires completed by 235 freshmen; the qualitative part was based on interviews with a different, random group of 25 freshmen. It was found that first-term grade point average was the best predictor of persistence, and both approaches confirmed the importance of faculty contact to early academic success. However, the qualitative study noted that students most in need of faculty contact often used poor grades as a reason not to talk to professors. Both measures also showed how self-reporting can lack accuracy: In the quantitative study, students with higher self-assessments of academic and psychological readiness for college were less likely to persist; in the qualitative study, students also did not always make accurate judgments about academic performance and chances for continuing. The quantitative study found no effects for age or having children or being employed, but the qualitative study showed some effects for nontraditional students. It was concluded that diverse student bodies require a variety of approaches to best understand retention. (Contains nine references). (Author/SW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A