ERIC Number: ED542540
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1938
Reference Count: 0
Project in Research in Universities: College Student Mortality. Bulletin, 1937, No. 11
McNeely, John H.
Office of Education, United States Department of the Interior
One of the primary essentials to an intelligent appraisement of the success of higher education is an analysis of college student mortality. By student mortality is meant the failure of students to remain in college until graduation. Moreover, the first step in determining the advisability of reforms in higher education is the discovery, accumulation, and interpretation of factual data on the subject. This applies to individual universities and colleges as well as to higher education in general. Reorganization of educational programs, improvement in traditional methods of instruction, inauguration of new admission or graduation requirements, readjustments of collegiate environment to students, and changes of a similar nature should be undertaken only upon a basis of detailed knowledge dealing among other things with student mortality in all its phases. Involved in the entire problem of student mortality are such questions as: (1) What proportion of students registered for degrees leave college prior to graduation?; (2) What proportion complete their work and graduate with degrees in the regular 4-year period?; (3) How long do students remain in college?; (4) To what extent do students transfer to other institutions?; (5) What percentage of students after leaving college return at a later date to continue their work?; (6) To what degree does the rate of student mortality differ among the various types of colleges and professional schools?; (7) What are the principal causes for the failure of students to remain in college?; (8) To what extent are personal and environmental factors operating on students responsible for their withdrawal from college?; and (9) Does any causal relationship exist between student mortality and academic achievement? In this bulletin is presented a comprehensive analysis of student mortality from the standpoint of these and other relevant questions. Based on a cooperative enterprise in which 25 universities participated, the study contains information not only for the individual institutions but also for the group as a whole. Most of the previous studies on this subject have been narrow in scope, being confined to a single institution rather than a group of institutions. Thus little is known as to the differences in student mortality among institutions or as to the extent to which students leave college generally throughout the United States. Since these 25 universities are scattered throughout the country comprise various types of such institutions, and include a typical cross section of their students, it is believed that the results of this study will in a measure be representative of student mortality in higher education on a Nation-wide basis, even though the smaller collegiate institutions are not represented to any large degree in the sampling. An introduction to this study is presented in Chapter I, while Chapter II describes the attempt made to analyze the extent of student mortality for the group of universities as a whole, for the individual universities, and for the several colleges and schools within the universities. Differentiations in mortality by sex of students, type of control of institutions, their geographical location, size of student bodies, and size of communities in which they are situated are also presented. The next three chapters are devoted to causal relationships involved in student mortality. Chapter III consists of an appraisal of the causes of student mortality as revealed by the institutional records and the testimony given by the students as to their reasons for leaving college. Under the topic, factors involved in student mortality, the endeavor is made in Chapter IV to show whether certain phases of collegiate environment are responsible for the failure of students to remain in college. Chapter V will deal with academic achievement and student mortality. Comparisons will be made of academic loads carried, credits earned, and marks made by students leaving the universities with those of students remaining to graduate with degrees. By this means it is hoped to discover whether any causal relationship exists between mortality and academic achievement. Chapter VI summarizes the results of the entire study. An appendix contains a copy of the blank form used by the universities in assembling the basic data for this study. (Contains 41 tables, 10 figures, and 30 footnotes.) [Best copy available has been provided.]
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Higher Education, College Credits, Graduation, College Students, Academic Persistence, Gender Differences, Academic Degrees, Graduate Study, College Transfer Students, Geographic Location, School Size, Enrollment, Academic Failure, Educational Finance, Paying for College, Death, Family School Relationship, Dropouts, Place of Residence, Extracurricular Activities, Student Employment, Grades (Scholastic)
Office of Education, United States Department of the Interior.
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: United States Department of the Interior, Office of Education (ED)