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ERIC Number: EJ1112996
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Oct
Pages: 29
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0091-5521
Sense of Community in Student Retention at a Tertiary Technical Institution in Bogotá: An Ecological Approach
Mendoza, Pilar; Suarez, Juan Diego; Bustamante, Eileen
Community College Review, v44 n4 p286-314 Oct 2016
Objective: This study probes the reasons for high attrition rates and sense of community among students enrolled at a technical institution serving low-income students in Bogotá, Colombia. Although sense of community on campus is the strongest predictor of a student's thriving, scholars in higher education have studied mainly minority students' sense of belonging, which is just one of the four elements of sense of community. In contrast, this study examines the sense of community among students who are marginalized from the broader social context but who are not a numerical minority at their institution. Method: We developed an ecological retention model for students in technical careers to identify factors unique to the study's context. We used an embedded and descriptive case study where students were the unit of analysis and multiple sources of data including interviews with administrators, instructors, and students as well as focus groups with students, institutional documentation, and field notes. Results: The broader socioeconomic conditions of Bogotá have deep consequences for students and shape the institutional culture and climate. We also found that students are not thriving and are at risk of leaving the institution, due in part to a weak sense of community. Conclusion: This study contributes to the understanding of student retention through sense of community and in contexts foreign to most of the previous research on student retention. This knowledge is significant for guiding policies and practices for the retention of students worldwide.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Postsecondary Education; Higher Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Colombia (Bogota)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A