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Increasing Persistence: Research-based Strategies for College Student Success

ISBN: 978-1-118-23484-6
512 pages
June 2012, Jossey-Bass
Increasing Persistence: Research-based Strategies for College Student Success (1118234847) cover image


What really works in student retention?

Increasing Persistence
offers a compendium on college student persistence that bridges the gaps between theory, research, and successful practice. Anchored by ACT, Inc.’s 2010 What Works in Student Retention survey of 1,100 colleges and universities, which provides insights on the causes of attrition and identifies retention interventions most likely to enhance student persistence, the book provides decision-makers and practitioners with evidence-based interventions and best practices for improving student success in college.
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Table of Contents

Preface xiii

The Authors xxix

Acknowledgments xxxiii

Section 1: What Do We Know

About Retention and Persistence to Degree? 1

1 Defining, Refining Perspectives on Student Success 3

2 Overview of Theoretical Perspectives on Student Success 19

Section 2: The Case for Intensified Campus Efforts 41

3 The Demographic Challenge 43

4 Public and Private Benefits of College 63

5 Retention or Recruitment: Examining the Return on Investment 79

Section 3: Core Components of Student Success 99

6 Institutional Culture and Student Engagement 101

7 Academic Preparation 117

8 Psychosocial Characteristics 137

9 Career Development 161

10 Assessing the Impact of Academic, Psychosocial, and Career Development Factors on College Student Success 181

Section 4: Proven Student Success Practices 211

11 Historical Perspective on What Works in Student Retention 213

12 Assessment and Course Placement 235

13 Development Education Initiatives 255

14 Academic Advising 283

15 First-Year Transition Programs 311

Section 5: Making Student Success a Priority 335

16 Expanding the Retention Framework: Implications for Public and Institutional Policy 337

17 Creating a Student Success Culture 363

18 Leading the Campus to Student Success 383


A What Works in Student Retention, 2004 Survey 397

B What Works in Student Retention? 411

References 425

Name Index 453

Subject Index 459

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Author Information

Wesley R. Habley is principal associate in educational services and coordinator of State Organizations at ACT, Inc. He is also coeditor of Academic Advising: A Comprehensive Handbook from Jossey-Bass.

Jennifer L. Bloom is clinical professor and director of the Master's Degree Program in Higher Education and Student Affairs at the University of South Carolina.

Steve Robbins is principal research scientist in the Center for Academic and Workforce Readiness and Success. Formerly, Robbins served as vice president of research at ACT, and as professor and chair of Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University.

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