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ERIC Number: ED563341
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 165
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-3035-1421-0
The Perceived Contributing Factors for Nontraditional Undergraduate Student Retention
James, Christina M.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Walden University
Adult students are enrolling in postsecondary educational programs in record numbers, but many are not completing their programs. The purpose of this quantitative study was to explore the perceptions of adult students enrolled in a nontraditional undergraduate evening program at a selected liberal arts college to gain insights into the factors that students felt were most influential in supporting their degree completion. Using Bean and Metzner's conceptual model of nontraditional student attrition as a framework, research questions concerned students' perceptions of the roles that institutional, situational, and dispositional factors play in adult student retention, and whether students' perceptions were related to their age and gender. A convenience sample of 38 participants completed a Likert survey online, and descriptive and correlational designs were used to answer the research questions. Data were analyzed using frequencies, means and standard deviations, and correlations. According to study findings, institutional factors were perceived as having a greater effect on retention when compared to both situational and dispositional factors. There was a direct, moderate relationship between perceptions regarding institutional factors and age, and an inverse relationship existed between perceptions regarding situational factors and age; no other significant relationships were found. Based upon the findings, an orientation program was developed for the college to increase student involvement. Implications for positive social change include providing a program to the local site that may increase retention rates of adults students enrolled in the evening program by aiding student involvement within the institution, thus resulting in increased graduation rates for the institution. [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; Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A