ERIC Number: EJ1150864
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jul
Social Belonging and College Retention: Results from a Quasi-Experimental Pilot Study
Silver Wolf, David A. Patterson; Perkins, Jacob; Butler-Barnes, Sheretta T.; Walker, Thomas A., Jr.
Journal of College Student Development, v58 n5 p777-782 Jul 2017
Educators, policymakers, and institutions have worked for decades to increase rates of college graduation, but about half of students who enter college drop out without completing a bachelor's degree. Although the rate of student attrition is higher in the United States than in any other industrialized nation, about 30% of U.S. students will drop out during their first year of college. Persistence and retention point to an array of negative individual-level consequences that can have implications for society in general. This article presents results from a quasi-experimental pilot study testing a social-belonging intervention to improve retention among college students. The project was approved by the institutional review boards at Washington University in St. Louis and at the community college campus. The sample was drawn from students who were enrolled in the first semester of their first year at the campus and registered for a required college-preparation course during Fall 2013 . An administrator contacted every third instructor on the list of those teaching any of the 20 sections of the course and continued contacting them until the number of students in sessions taught by participating instructors was equal to half of the desired student sample. Standardized administrative data was collected by the St. Louis Community College system. The findings of this study suggest that social belonging interventions may serve as an important complement to college preparation and other activities. The findings also suggest the need for further research. If these results are replicated in subsequent research, administrators should consider adding belonging interventions to the menu of academic services available to students.
Descriptors: School Holding Power, Student School Relationship, Dropouts, Academic Persistence, Graduation Rate, Quasiexperimental Design, Pilot Projects, Undergraduate Students, Community Colleges, College Preparation, Intervention, Statistical Analysis, Comparative Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Missouri (Saint Louis)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
What Works Clearinghouse Reviewed: Does Not Meet Evidence Standards
WWC Study Page: https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/study/89876