College Student Retention. Presenters: Priscilla Ayala Dan Barker Holly Fischer Luke Wawaru. Why Care?. The more successful amount of time a student invests in college, the better she/he is prepared for the real life. Education is a great equalizer across social and economic strata.
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College Student Retention Presenters: Priscilla Ayala Dan Barker Holly Fischer Luke Wawaru
Why Care? • The more successful amount of time a student invests in college, the better she/he is prepared for the real life. • Education is a great equalizer across social and economic strata. • A vibrant nation’s economy is due in part to its attainment in education which also translates to a competitive advantage globally.
Some consequences of leaving prematurely. • Precious time wasted. • Financial loss to student (Loans and poor credit score). • Financial loss to college (5000 x 10 = $50,000). • Negative publicity which can impact recruitment. (Social media damage)
-Even with additional programs and services retention in the first and second year has remained virtually the same over time even though logic dictates the opposite. -This book addresses a number of areas critical to the retention of students
Chapter One: PAST TO PRESENT: A Historical Look at Retention CONTEXTUAL INFLUENCES ON RETENTION Terms that have evolved in meaning. • Students: The supply of and types of students served has changed over the years. In the beginning the student body consisted of a small, selective, generally homogenous group of privileged individuals. Currently the student body comprises of a diverse spectrum of individuals totaling to millions. • Campuses: This term has evolved to represent a diversified contemporary collection of campuses. (HBCUs included) with different environments to cater for specific populations.
CONTEXTUAL INFLUENCES ON RETENTION c) Education Roles: The roles of faculty and other educators e.g. student affairs have changed. In the beginning the faculty (at times one or two) were a one stop shop doing everything from admission, teaching, discipline e.tc. Moved to specialized roles but there are a move to involve all educators in these efforts (MSU?) d) Socioeconomic Conditions: These over time have also played a key role in affecting the development of retention. The demands placed on higher education by the society have increased as has the demand for college graduates with earned degrees. This exponential growth in higher education has increased concern for retention. Retention is a key outcome indicator placed on institutions by policymakers in many state-funded institutions.
CONTEXTUAL INFLUENCES ON RETENTION e) Policies and Interventions : The federal governments Morrill Acts, GI Bill, Civil Rights, and financial aid have increased access. This access is aimed at degree attainment rather than just college attendance. Colleges have forged retention efforts to demonstrate that access will realize such goals. Retention used as driver to determine funding. f) Knowledge Base: The empirical and conceptual knowledge base has grown and shaped retention efforts. The earliest studies on student mortality (retention) began in 1930s but it was 1960s that saw a systematic knowledge base begin to emerge. Early studies focused on single institutions but now the studies focus more on specific types of students of institutions.
CONTEXTUAL INFLUENCES ON RETENTION g) Conceptualization of Retention: Retention was viewed differently in different times. Some closely related but not synonymous terms. • Attrition: Student who fails to re-enroll in consecutive semesters. • Dismissal: A student who is not permitted to continue enrollment. • Dropout: A student whose initial educational goal was to complete at least bachelor’s degree but did not. • Mortality: Failure to remain in college till graduation. • Persistence: The desire to remain in college from start to degree completion. • Retention: Ability to retain a student from admission to graduation. • Stopout: Temporary withdrawal from institution or system. • Withdrawal: Departure of a student from college or university campus. Withdrawal may be voluntary or involuntary.
Historical Overview American colleges have existed for over 300 years during which missions and curriculum have changed and have affected the nature of retention. The historical stages below are just to serve as a map for understanding retention over the years. • Retention Pre-History (1600s – Mid 1800s) There was no need to consider retention as there were few students attending colleges and few were interested in graduating. College church based and were primarily for meeting the local demand for pastors and missionaries. E.g. Harvard (1636), William and Mary (1693), and Yale (1701).
Historical Overview b) Evolving Toward Retention (Mid 1800s-1900) • Although retention was still not a major concern, this era was characterized by an increase in degree attainment thus creating a complete collegiate experience. • Men from all religious denominations were admitted. • Sons from elite families enrolled to emulate their fahers. • No evidence that degree attainment was emphasized. • Collegiate education continued to expand leading to diversity in the student body which included women. Oberlin was the first to admit women. • Signing Morrill Land Grant Act (1862) happened in this era. • College transformed to university. • Institutional survival was emphasized than persistence.
Historical Overview C) Early Developments (1900-1950) Constant enrollment growth. 1895: Big colleges had 2000 students. 1915: The same had 5000 students. Why the growth? A) Industrialization (B) Urbanization Results • Selective admissions and creation of new institutions • High attrition rates. • Post-WWII: Higher ED golden age of expansion. d) Dealing with Expansion (1950s) • National Youth Administration & GI Bill expanded opportunity to 1.1million vets • Different pathway to achieve post secondary education e.g community college. • Attention was more to whys of retention than how to curb until early 1970s when decrease in enrollment was predicted.
Historical Overview e) Preventing Dropout (1960s) • The post-World War expansion and diversity in student body due to Civil rights movement saw different challenges • Events of 1960s brought the issue of retention home. Unrests due to dissatisfaction with government and civil rights movement made colleges to start monitoring enrollments f) Building Theory (1970s) • 1970s dawned greater efforts to identify causes and solutions to the challenge of retention. • Spady (1971) published the sociological model of departure . • Vincent Tito built his interactionalist g) Managing Enrollments (1980s) • This era was dominated by issues of enrollment management. • Retention was becoming diversified to types of students, graduate vs undergraduates, and even into community colleges.
Historical Overview h) Broadening Horizons (1990s) • Retention had become a full fledged area of study • There was a re-emphasis on academics and student learning as well as retention. • Diversity in relation to color i) Current and Future Trends (Early 21st Century) • Retention is a major policy issue in higher education • Virtually every campus uses retention as a key indicator of institutional effectiveness. Conclusion: It is an open secret that retention was no concern during the first few hundred years but has rapidly grown to become a core indicator and major field of study in higher education. Diversity has also been embedded in this interesting study that will continue being as dynamic in the future
CHAPTER 2: MEASUREMENT OF PERSISTENCE Voluntary school or college enrollment is not capricious and is ever becoming more costly. • Complicated to measure • Cohorts: A clearly defined group at one point in time, place, and with demographic and enrollment characteristics. • Denominators: The initial number that is used to identify a cohort and remains fixed throughout. • Numerators: The number that remains as the cohort diminishes due to other factors. • HIGH SCHOOL PERSISTENCE AND GRADUATION • COLLEGE FRESHMAN-TO-SOPHOMORE PERSISTENCE RATES • BACHELOR’S DEGREE GRADUATION RATES.
CHAPTER 3: RETENTION THEORIES, MODELS, AND CONCEPTS There is an abundance of studies about college student retention. 10 theories, models and concepts are presented in this chapter. John N. McNeely • Earliest study of attrition. • Gross mortality( Leaving after four years without obtaining a degree and may return later) and net mortality(students leave and fail to return at a later date). • McNeely did not incorporate ethnicity even though Howard was an HBCU. John Summerskill (1962) • His recognition of motivational factors related to student attrition grounded in psychological and sociological concepts and theory provided impetus for subsequent theory-based research in student retention.
CHAPTER 3: RETENTION THEORIES, MODELS, AND CONCEPTS Alexander W. Astin(1975, 1985) Recognized two main predictive factors on student retention.- Personal and environmental factors. William G Spady(1970) He suggested that student retention research fell into these 6 categories: Philosophical/theoretical (used assumptions and made recommendations to stop attrition), census (extent of attrition), autopsy (self-reported reasons on why student left.), case studies, descriptive, and predictive (how to admit those who will persist). John W Meyer (1970) His argument was that institutions of higher education were socializing organizations and that they had the ability to influence values, personality needs, and social roles or identities which he called charter.
CHAPTER 3: RETENTION THEORIES, MODELS, AND CONCEPTS David H Kamens (1971) He suggested that his research was an extension of Meyer’s (1970) sociological paradigm. The structural linkage to occupational and economic groups had the ability to bestow a social status which in turn impacted student retention and occupational choices. Vincent Tinto (1987) His theory was centered on individual departure from college. • He said there were three stages of progression in order to be integrated into college community. • Separation from communities of the past • Transition between communities • Incorporation into the community of the college. He saw the impact of external events but saw them as secondary
CHAPTER 3: RETENTION THEORIES, MODELS, AND CONCEPTS John P Bean (1980) Unlike Tinto, he appeared to have placed emphasis on environmental factors on student retention. John P Bean and Barbara S. Metzner(1985) They argued that student retention theories from Spady (1970), Tinto (1975), and Pascarella (1980) focused heavily on social variables and contributed very little to nontraditional student retention. They hypothesized that the decisions to dropout for nontraditional students were influences by either academic, background, psychological, or environmental. Alan Seidman(2005) He based his theory on Tinto’s (1987) retention model. His retention formula: Retention = (Early Deficiency Identification + Intensive Intervention) Conclusion • It is not possible to analyze all student retention theories in a single chapter. • No single intervention will adequately prevent students from leaving college.
Chapter Four Introduction: • The problems associated with an appropriate measurement system are common to other often-researched outcomes in higher education. • The power to retain students remains the most crucial outcome if students are to be successful in life. • Measuring college student retention remains complicated, confusing, and context-dependent. • Chapter promotes the recognition and differentiation of different types of college retention and promotes a more complex, rather than simplistic, measurement system within an environment that requires more differentiation.
Retention and Dropout • Most widely used dichotomous measures in educational research and practice are retention and dropout. • Retention: Staying in school until completion of a degree. • Drop out: Leaving school prematurely.
Dropout, Graduation, Persistence, Retention, and Attrition • A dropout may eventually return and transform into a non-dropout any time prior to death, thereby negating any earlier designations used from studies, research, or retention rates. • Retention is an institutional measure. • Persistence is a student measure. • Attrition is the reduction in numbers of students resulting from lower student retention. • Graduate: A former student who has completed a prescribed course of study in a college or university.
Models of Retention • Tinto’s Integration Model • Student Attrition Model • Contemporary Retention Researcher, John Braxton
Measuring Retention • The US government has established a federal definition of graduation rate as part of the Student Right-to-Know and Campus Security Act. • The graduation rate was defined as the percentage of full time, first time, degree seeking enrolled students who graduate after 150 percent of the normal time for completion: six years for four year colleges, and three years for two year colleges.
The Practices of Measurement Two federal retention formulas employed : RR less than 4 year=((number of students re-enrolled in the following fall+number of students who have completed)/(number of students in the fall cohort-exclusions))*100 IPEDS RR 4 year=number of students re-enrolled in the following fall/(number of students in the fall cohort-exclusions)*100 Common Data Set • The Common Data Set (CDS) is a joint effort by the higher education community and publishers including the College Board, Peterson’s, US News and World Report, and others to establish and develop clear standard definitions on the data items to be used in educational research. SCCR • The Research and Planning Group for California and the Transfer and Retention of Urban Community College Students Project both support the use of the successful course completion ratio (SCCR).
Types of Retention Four basic types: 1. Institutional Retention 2. System Retention 3. Retention within a Major 4. Retention within a Course
Problems with the Current Measures • The current definitions and formulas do not include all students and as such may provide inaccurate measures of retention. • Furthermore, there may be a bit of university sleight of hand associated with practices that reflect on reported figures. • The current formulas for retention include those students who are more likely to persist and thus may provide an inflated figure less representative of the variation of student persistence. • The formula excludes: part time students, returning students, transfers, and students who prematurely leave after the second year of enrollment.
Proposed Formulas New proposed formulas • Pure institutional persistence: Performed annually= Current total FTE degree-seeking enrollment-(current year newly enrolled students)/Past year’s fall FTE degree-seeking enrollment+(FTE enrollment of degree-seeking spring and summer)-FTE graduates • Pure system persistence: Performed annually= Current total national FTE degree-seeking enrollment-(current year newly enrolled students)/Past year’s total national fall FTE degree-seeking enrollment+(FTE enrollment of degree-seeking spring and summer)-FTE graduates
Conclusion • Retention not only has a impact on the individual and her or his family, but also produces a ripple effect on the postsecondary institutions, the work force, and the economy. • College Effect • Work Effect • Economic Effect
Chapter Five Introduction • Financing higher education has become a complex, high stakes activity for students and their institutions. • The chapter will examine some of the salient issues related to how students finance their education, the amount of debt they incur to finance their education, and the implications for institutions of higher education when students do not persist to graduation.
Current Fiscal Environment • Contemporary financing of higher education has involved an increasing reliance on students and their families to provide revenues for colleges and universities. • Students in turn increasingly are relying on financial aid to finance their education.
How Institutions of Higher Education are Financed • One of the most important trends in higher education finance over the past two decades is the ever-increasing reliance that institutions of higher education have on tuition and fee revenue. • Four year public institutions received 20% of their revenues from tuition and fees, compared to 78% at private not for profit institutions. • Public Institutions: Received in constant dollars $2133 per student in 2006-2007. • Private, Not for Profit Institutions: Received in constant dollars from tuition and fees per student in 2006-2007 $16, 676. • Private, for Profit Institutions: They rely more on tuition and fee income than state supported institutions and private not for profit institutions. They do not receive state appropriations as do public institutions, and they receive very little income from investments when compared with private, not for profit institutions.
How Students Pay for Their Education • Students use a variety of sources to pay for their postsecondary education, including savings, work, assistance from parents, and financial aid. • Financial Aid: Large, complex enterprise. • In 2009-2010, financial aid to undergraduates totaled $154.46 billion, and the largest single source of this aid took the form of federal loans, $65.8 billion or 43% of all undergraduate aid. • Four forms: • Grants • Loans • Tax Credits and Deductions • Work-Study
Institutional Costs for Non-Persistence • Three Elements: • Immediate Direct Costs • Student Recruitment • Financial Aid • Lost Tuition Income • Other Lost Income • Immediate Indirect Institutional Costs • Faculty and Staff Salaries • Facilities • Long-Term Institutional Costs After Students Leave
Chapter Six Introduction • Degree completion is one of the few student outcomes in higher education in which virtually all constituents have a stake. • Three types of information that can be useful in estimating any student’s chances of completing college: pre-college characteristics of the student, the characteristics of the college that the student attends, and environmental contingencies of attendance. • Rely on multi-campus studies involving diverse samples of baccalaureate-granting institutions rather than studies conducted at single institutions.
Previous Research • A substantial portion of the empirical research on undergraduate degree completion during the past 30 years has focused on the development and testing of theoretical models for explaining degree attainment.
Method and Data Analysis Method • The data for this study was drawn from a national sample of baccalaureate-granting institutions that participated in the Cooperative Institutional Research Program’s annual survey of entering freshmen in the fall of 1994. • A total of 90,619 students were selected at random from each of the 424 institutions in the original national sample. • Degree attainment data was eventually received on 56,818 cases at 26 institutions. Data Analysis • A series of weighted descriptive analyses were run to examine degree attainment differences by institutional type, gender, and academic achievement. • Employed a series of stepwise linear regression analyses. • The dichotomous dependent variables used in the analyses were either: degree completion within four years or degree completion within six years. • In each regression analysis of the independent variables were organized into three blocks according to their presumed temporal order of occurrence: pre-college entering student characteristics, environmental contingencies, and institutional characteristics.
Results • Degree Attainment by Institutional Type, Gender, and High School Grades • Pre-college Characteristics Influencing Degree Attainment • Environmental Contingencies Affecting Degree Attainment • Institutional Characteristics that Affect Degree Completion
Ch. 7: The Community College Retention Trends and Issues by: Gloria Crisp and Liliana Mina
Overview of Community Colleges • Community colleges’ highest degree: associate’s degree • Serves 40% of nation’s students • Increased amount of minority and low-income students • Biggest issue: Retention • Goal: To improve retention rates and other measures of success
Historical development and functions of community college • Original idea: to create junior college to rigorously help prepare students to transfer to a 4-year institution • Preparatory, pre-professional, terminal GenEd., & terminal occupational purpose • Due to social forces over the years, led to demand “open admissions policy” • Industrial revolution • Social movements (women’s, civil rights, baby boom) • G.I. Bill of Rights of 1944
Role of community colleges currently • Purposes under “open policy”: • Redirects careers of seasoned workers • Offers Gen Ed. • Provides workforce development and training • Serves the gifted by offering dual credit classes • Serves first generation students • Serves students from low SES backgrounds • Challenge: 1) Serving traditionally underserved populations, because need more assistance for development, academic and social programs • Realities of low SES students backgrounds • Community colleges try to close performance gap 2) How to provide a rigorous curriculum for the gifted and for the academically underprepared.
The Role of Federal and State Government • Community college purpose economically: Vital in training and retraining workforce while bringing growth in the communities they serve • Concerns: Financial assistance • Funding has decreased, need has risen, thus community colleges are educating more with less funding • American Graduation Initiative (AGI) • Carl Perkins Career and Technical Education Act • Pell Grants
Community College Students • Community college serves a variety of students for different reasons • Study: Beginning Postsecondary Longitudinal Study (BPLS) • Community college students vs. 4-year degree students • Comm. College students tend to be: • African American or Latino, independent, 1st generation, less academically prepared, work full time or part time during college, having lower degree aspirations, attend college part time, delaying enrollment into college after high school, receive less financial aid, and earning a lower GPA first year
Community College Students cont… • Different types Comm. College students • Transfer students • Vocational • Developmental students • Community education students • Dual Credit • ESL
Community College Retention • Reasons for differences in retention rates • The student • Less likely to be academically prepared • Are the eldest, from a low SES background or minority, 1st generation, single parent, lack social and cultural capital which can attribute for reasons to withdraw • Not having a HS Diploma, rigor core in HS, financially independent, face financial concerns, delayed entry to IHE • College Experience • More likely to drop out than 4-year students • Less integrated and involved socially and academically like 4-year students • Community College Context • Different institutional practices such as part time instructors
Retention issues facing community college • Issues: • Can’t increase their retention or graduation rate by raising admission standards • Are required to offer remedial classes to underprepared • Have fewer time and opportunities to engage students • 4-yr students will enroll full time, live on campus, have ample time to study outside of class to study with other students, participate in activities, speak with faculty, etc... • Variety in reasons for attending community college • Not enough institutional resources to assess retention issues, or resources for faculty development
Retention issues cont… • Other challenges: increasing enrollment, unreliable funding, and increasing responsibility, lack of methodologically sound research being conducted to inform institutional policy and practice • Not enough research on community college, and if so, its unpublished, not widely disseminated and/or not peer-reviewed, • No scholars who attended 2 year colleges are conducting research limiting ability to interpret or make sense of findings • Databases are limited in detail provided to provide about institutional characteristics and practices to allow for evaluation of policies, programs, practices related to student success • Persistence theory does not address diversity of students, the community college experience or context • Retention theory claims that students withdrawal decisions can be explained by social and academic integration (Tinto 1975-1993) and involvement on campus (Astin, 1977, 1993) • Must understand difficulties and limitations in measuring retention among community college students
Ch. 8: Pathways to a Four-Year Degree By: Alberto F. Cabrera, kurt R. Burkum, Steven M. La Nasa, and Erin W. Bilbo
Overview • Degree attainment rates of socioeconomically disadvantaged students significantly still lag behind • Parents with low SES are less involved and/or have little knowledge about college attainment, • Students from low SES are less likely to have be prepared academically or college • Such student assistance programs like TRiO, Gear-Up, addresses barriers to success for low SES by enhancing their access to academic preparation opportunities, college information, and assistance in completing the college application process • Federal and state aid programs recognize high cost deter applicants • Postsecondary attendance and degree completion differ between students with low and high SES
Pathways to a four year degree • Determinants of a 4 year degree completion: (Based off HS Sophomore 1980 cohort Study) • Attending a 4 year IHE right out of high school than going to 2 year • College preparedness and academic resources students have during high school ; GPA and rank, rigorous curriculum, and aptitude test scores • Studies find that students from high SES were more likely to earn 4 yr. degrees than their less advantaged peers and more likely to secure a 4 yr. degree than their disadvantaged peers regardless academic preparation or port of entry