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ERIC Number: EJ913981
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 54
ISSN: ISSN-1059-9053
Factors Affecting Persistence of Undergraduate Students in a Fisheries and Wildlife Program: Leavers
Wolter, Bjorn H. K.; Millenbah, Kelly F.; Montgomery, Robert A.; Schneider, James W.
Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education, v40 p10-18 2011
Undergraduate enrollment in natural resources-related programs are 13% lower than they were 30 years ago, even though overall collegiate enrollment has increased by roughly 8.5 million students during the same period. Because of this, we decided to investigate the question of student retention in a fisheries and wildlife (FW) program from the perspective of the students themselves. In this pilot study, we conducted face-to-face interviews with seven students who left a FW program ("leavers"), and asked them 13 questions related to their experiences at a large Midwestern university to better understand student reasons for leaving. Specific findings include: the importance of job prospects and earnings potential, a general reluctance to pursue postgraduate education, a degree of disillusionment at the relative lack of outdoor experiences offered, and a desire for more active participation in the undergraduate program. Some students expressed a feeling of deception at the realities of the departmental curriculum, although these were poorly defined and may be the product of other issues such as unrealistic program expectations. The results of this study inform the discussion on student retention and motivation in natural resource programs, and provide real-world suggestions on how to stem student attrition. (Contains 2 tables.)
American Society of Agronomy. 677 South Segoe Road, Madison, WI 53711. Tel: 608-273-8080; Fax: 608-273-2021; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A