Understanding and Reducing College Student DepartureASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report, Volume 30, Number 3
J-B ASHE Higher Education Report Series (AEHE), Band 16 1. Aufl.
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.
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
John M. Braxton is professor of education in the Higher Education Leadership and Policy Program in the Department of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations at Peabody College, Vanderbilt University. Amy S. Hirschy is a graduate student of higher education, a research assistant, and a peer mentor at Vanderbilt University, with thirteen years of prior experience as a student services administrator. Shederick A. McClendon is assistant professor of higher education administration in the Department of Education, Policy, Research, and Administration at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
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