ERIC Number: ED435419
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Retention at South Texas Community College: A Delicate Balance. Special Report Number One.
South Texas Community Coll., McAllen, TX.
This study presents data and findings on student retention at South Texas Community College (STCC) and recommends steps to improve retention rates. STCC groups attrition into three categories: (1) positive attrition, due to graduation, completion or transfer; (2) neutral attrition, due to non-institutional conflicts; and (3) negative attrition, due to academic underachievement. Based on the 1994 first-time student cohort, STCC's persisting or graduating rate was 40 percent. The Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness found 50 variables that were significantly related to retention, but few relationships are strong enough alone to predict student persistence. At STCC, college grade point average is the single best predictor of retention (r=.477). Employment alone was found to be only weakly related to student attendance behavior. Some important findings include: (1) both receiving financial aid and attending developmental studies are positively related to persistence; (2) personalized contact is important in student persistence; (3) part-time students (53% of the total) are at high risk for attrition; (4) placing students on academic probation has a negative impact on retention; and (5) nearly all graduates included in this study did not have any breaks in semester enrollment prior to graduation. Recommendations are provided for each of these five findings. (RDG)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: South Texas Community Coll., McAllen, TX.
Note: From the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness.