ERIC Number: EJ1076302
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 53
Identification of Multiple Nonreturner Profiles to Inform the Development of Targeted College Retention Interventions
Mattern, Krista D.; Marini, Jessica P.; Shaw, Emily J.
Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice, v17 n1 p18-43 May 2015
Throughout the college retention literature, there is a recurring theme that students leave college for a variety of reasons making retention a difficult phenomenon to model. In the current study, cluster analysis techniques were employed to investigate whether multiple empirically based profiles of nonreturning students existed to more fully understand the types of students with particular characteristics that are related to leaving college. Based on over 18,000 students who left their initial institution after the first year, analyses supported three clusters, which were labeled as "Affordability Issues," "Unexpected Underperformers," and "Underprepared and Facing Hurdles." Follow-up analyses were then conducted to determine whether students from each cluster had different higher education trajectories. Students in the Underprepared and Facing Hurdles cluster were most likely to drop out of higher education completely or transfer to a 2-year institution. Those students in the Affordability Issues cluster were most likely to transfer to a less expensive 4-year institution. Finally, the Unexpected Underperformers behaved somewhere in between the other two clusters with regard to dropout and transfer behavior. The implications of these findings in terms of developing more thoughtful and targeted retention interventions for these different types of students are discussed.
Descriptors: Academic Persistence, College Students, Multivariate Analysis, Student Characteristics, Institutional Characteristics, College Transfer Students, Student Attitudes, Financial Problems, Academic Achievement, College Entrance Examinations, Measures (Individuals), Demography, Predictor Variables, Statistical Distributions, Grade Point Average
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
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