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ERIC Number: EJ1106958
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1541-0935
Creating a College-Wide Retention Program: A Mixed Methods Approach
Mertes, Scott J.; Jankoviak, Michael W.
Community College Enterprise, v22 n1 p9-27 Spr 2016
Designing effective student retention programs is of critical importance from both a completion and a monetary standpoint. However, oftentimes colleges attempt to use nationally developed models rather than institutional-specific data to identify potential factors involved in student attrition. At a Midwestern community college, research attempting to validate Tinto's model as well as statistical predictor models failed to identify variables that explained a significant amount of variance. As a result, utilizing Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) tools, a group of college stakeholders identified potential barriers to student retention. From this, a survey was distributed to 4,200 students in the winter of 2014 asking them to identify which of the identified barriers were most influential in student attrition. Additionally, open-ended responses were also encouraged to identify other factors not included in the survey. After triangulating both quantitative and qualitative results, the following seven themes emerged: motivation, employee quality, cost of college, administrative red tape, dissatisfaction with course offerings, life balance, and expectations vs. the reality of college coursework. Interventions were prioritized and a campus-wide retention plan was developed based on the identified themes.
Schoolcraft College. Community College Enterprise, 19600 Haggerty Road, Livonia, MI 48152. Fax: 734-462-4679; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A