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ERIC Number: ED555424
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 192
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3034-3603-1
Retention, Persistence, and Enrollment Management: An Exploration of Organizational Models
Bartlett, Stacy A.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Mercer University
Low student retention and persistence continues to be a major problem within American higher education (Elkins, Braxton, & James, 2000; Kalsbeek & Hossler, 2010; Kezar, 2004; Tinto, 2006-2007). Less is known about the institutional organizational behavior influence on student persistence (Berger, 2001-2002); and while enrollment management may be part of the solution to the retention problem, there is a mixture of evidence validating its effectiveness (Lee, 2010; Parnell, 2004; Smith, 2001). The purpose of this study was to test whether retention and graduation rates differ based on enrollment management programs and models and to identify the retention strategies associated with such models. A quantitative survey design was employed to gather responses to answer seven research questions. A survey, adapted with permission from Noel-Levitz (2001-2002), was sent to four-year private and public American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) primary contacts via email. After approximately five weeks of data collection, the researcher received the institutional information from AACRAO. Institutional data confirmed that there are a multitude of enrollment management departmental compositions, with admissions and financial aid being primary. Retention strategies demonstrated the highest frequency with orientation programming, while less than forty percent of institutions reported a written retention plan. No significant differences were found for first-year retention rates based on enrollment management programs and models. However, a significant difference was found for six-year graduation rates based on whether the institution had an established program. Those institutions with enrollment management programs possessed significantly higher graduation rates. Models did not confirm any significant differences. Enrollment management program final reporting structures confirmed a significant difference when position groups were combined. Those institutions with enrollment management reporting to a chief academic affairs officer reported significantly higher retention rates. Conclusions and implications provided may guide educational leaders in determining what enrollment management structures and retention strategies work at their institutions. Additional research in this field may include replication of the study and use of a different instrument, mixed methods approaches, and other populations. Further exploration of enrollment planning and retention reporting structures may also be helpful for higher education leaders. [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