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Understanding and Reducing College Student Departure: ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report, Volume 30, Number 3

ISBN: 978-0-7879-7282-0
128 pages
April 2004, Jossey-Bass
Understanding and Reducing College Student Departure: ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report, Volume 30, Number 3 (0787972827) cover image

Description

Student departure is a long-standing problem to colleges and universities. Approximately 45 percent of students enrolled in two-year colleges depart during their first year, and approximately one out of four students departs from a four-year college or university. The authors advance a serious revision of Tinto's popular interactionalist theory to account for student departure, and they postulate a theory of student departure in commuter colleges and universities.

This volume delves into the literature to describe exemplary campus-based programs designed to reduce student departure. It emphasizes the importance of addressing student departure through a multidisciplinary approach, engaging the whole campus. It proposes new models for nonresidential students and students from diverse backgrounds, and suggests directions for further research.

Academic and student affairs administrators seeking research-based approaches to understanding and reducing student departure will profit from reading this volume. Scholars of the college student experience will also find it valuable in defining new thrusts in research on the student departure process.

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Table of Contents

Foreword xi

The Ill-Structured Problem of College 01

Student Departure

Overview of the Volume 04

Intended Audience 05

Tinto’s Interactionalist Theory 07

Tinto’s Interactionalist Theory 07

An Empirical Assessment of Tinto 11

Propositions Receiving Strong Support 13

Explanations for Unanticipated Academic Integration Findings 18

Tinto’s Theory: Revise or Abandon? 20

Toward a Revision of Tinto’s Theory for Residential Colleges and Universities 21

Influences on Social Integration 21

Underlying Conceptual Orientation of the Six Influences 28

Tinto’s Theory Revisited in Residential Colleges and Universities 29

Understanding and Reducing College Student Departure 1

Implications for Racial or Ethnic Minority Students 32

Student Departure in Commuter Colleges and Universities 35

Sixteen Propositions: Elements of a Theory of Student Departure in Commuter Institutions 36

Formulating a Theory of Student Departure in Commuter Colleges and Universities 42

Exemplary Student Retention Programs 53

Sources of Retention Programs 53

Selecting Exemplary Retention Programs 54

Nine Exemplary Retention Programs 56

Reducing Institutional Rates of Departure 67

An Overarching Recommendation 67

Powerful Institutional Levers of Action 69

Residential Colleges and Universities 72

Commuter Colleges and Universities 74

Reducing the Departure of Racial or Ethnic Minority Students 77

Conclusions and Recommendations for Scholarship 79

Conclusions 79

Recommendations for Further Scholarship 81

Closing Thoughts 86

References 89

Name Index 99

Subject Index 103

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