ERIC Number: ED465345
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Apr
Factors Related to the "System" Persistence of Students Seeking the Bachelor's Degree at Four-Year Institutions.
Blecher, Lee; Michael, William B.; Hagedorn, Linda Serra
The basic goal of this study was to examine the relationship that a number of hypothesized variables had to the systemwide persistence of students enrolled in bachelors degree programs at four-year postsecondary institutions. Data were from the Beginning Postsecondary Students longitudinal database of the National Center for Education Statistics for 3,278 students. The theoretical framework relied on V. Tinto's model of student departure, J. Bean's model of student attrition, and A. Astin's theory of involvement. Fifteen variables were measured. Results from the original hypothesized eclectic model to explain system persistence indicated that the model was not consistent with the data, and that the variables and the causal relationships defined by the model were not altogether plausible. The model was modified, while staying within the framework of the literature on attrition. The modified version provided adequate goodness-of-fit indices. In the model, the effect of initial educational aspiration on persistence was realized completely through intermediary variables. Of the background and demographic variables in the model, socioeconomic status, age, and academic ability (Scholastic Assessment Test score) had significant total effects on 5-year system persistence. Direct and indirect effects were identified. Other variables that helped explain system persistence were percentage of full-time attendance, hours worked at a job, scholastic achievement, and student involvement. (Contains 3 figures, 1 table, and 56 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 1-5, 2002).