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ERIC Number: ED553915
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 185
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3031-3770-9
College Student Retention: A Self-Determination Perspective
Tetreault, Jules
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Boston
This study sought to identify the relationship between a student's level of self-determination towards aspiring to receive a college degree and student retention from the first to second year. Deci & Ryan's (2000) self-determination theory served as the conceptual framework for this study. The fundamental assumption of self-determination is that the content of a person's goal and the regulatory process one initiates to achieve the goals are not the same (Deci & Ryan, 2000). This study aimed to investigate 1) the degree to which a student's level of perceived autonomy in pursuing a Bachelor's degree predicts retention between the first and second year of college, 2) the degree to which a student's level of perceived competence toward his or her ability to achieve a Bachelor's degree predicts retention from first to second year, and 3) whether differences in perceived relatedness predict retention from first to second year. To accomplish these aims, a quantitative research design was utilized to examine the relationship between self-determination and retention from first to second year among college students at Twin University, a four-year, private institution located in the northeast, that is predominately White and has a traditional admission selectivity rating. Results from independent t tests, ANOVAs, and multivariate logistic regressions revealed that students' needs for relatedness to peers were a positive predictor for retention for drop out students. In addition, the results indicated that a student's level of intrinsic motivation-to experience and amotivation were predictors of student transfer. While a relationship among all aspects of self-determination did not materialize, these significant results provided partial support for the relationship between self-determination and student retention. Recognizing the significance of these findings, this study provides faculty and student affairs professionals with a better understanding of student retention by providing alternative concepts to consider when creating classroom and out-of-class experiences for their students. [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