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ERIC Number: ED532685
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 133
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1094-7463-3
The Role of Pre-Institutional Commitment in Freshmen Persistence Decisions at a Small, Private, Liberal Arts College
Andrews, Bradley J.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Wisconsin - Madison
This research explores the factors that affect persistence decisions of undergraduate students at a small, private, liberal arts college. Pre-institutional commitment, the commitment to a specific higher education institution by a student prior to arriving on campus for the first academic term, is examined for its effect on student persistence decisions. The Integrated Model of Student Persistence (Cabrera, Castaneda, Nora, & Hengstler, 1992) is reviewed and used as the conceptual model to examine persistence decisions of first-year college students, and explore the role played by pre-institutional commitment in those decisions. This study also seeks to replicate the Cabrera, Nora, and Castaneda 1993 study, and confirm the findings which found the Integrated Model of Student Persistence to be predictive of student persistence decisions. That 1993 research study was located at a mid-size public institution; this study seeks to confirm the model while analyzing students at a small, private college. Results of this study indicate that pre-institutional commitment does not have a significant effect on student persistence decisions, indeed there appears to be a weak negative relationship between the variable and persistence. However, the results largely confirm the findings of the 1993 Cabrera, Nora, and Castaneda study. The Integrated Model of Student Persistence is useful in predicting the determinants of student persistence decisions at this small, private, liberal arts college. This research study has several implications. The most important finding is that student persistence decisions at small private colleges are largely affected by the same factors as students at larger public institutions. This finding confirms for practitioners at smaller institutions that the findings of the many other studies of persistence apply to their students as well. The other important implication relates to student recruitment and the importance of creating realistic student expectations. Heightened expectations created to attract students to a specific institution may contribute to gaps between those expectations and actual student experiences that ultimately make students more likely to leave the institution prior to graduation. This implication merits further attention in future research. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A