NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ917876
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 21
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0022-1546
University Life of Non-Traditional Students: Engagement Styles and Impact on Attrition
Gilardi, Silvia; Guglielmetti, Chiara
Journal of Higher Education, v82 n1 p33-53 Jan-Feb 2011
Many surveys show that the non-traditional students present a higher risk of dropping out (National Audit Office, 2007; Provasnik & Planty, 2008). Nevertheless, empirical research that tries to understand this phenomenon, also in light of different institutional contexts (e.g. four years or two years, residential or non-residential) and of the composition of the sub-groups included in the label "non-traditional" (adults, workers, part-time students), is still insufficient (Yorke & Longden, 2004). It is interesting, therefore, to thoroughly analyze this type of student, upon whom the present university policies could have a paradoxical effect: on the one hand, they encourage their enrollment in the university system, partly because of the emphasis on lifelong learning, but on the other hand they do not seem to be concerned about understanding their needs and circumstances, thereby maintaining an institutional system designed for a very different type of student. In the light of the literature on student engagement, social integration, and adult learning, this empirical study (n = 228 students) explored the relationship between first-year academic experience and non-traditional students' retention. Results show that engagement, social integration, and meaningfulness of learning experience have different effects on non-traditional and traditional students' retention. (Contains 3 tables.)
Ohio State University Press. 180 Pressey Hall, 1070 Carmack Road, Columbus, OH 43210-1002. Tel: 614-292-1407; Fax: 614-292-2065; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Italy
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A