The Iliad and the Odyssey of Student Attrition. AIR 1994 Annual Forum Paper.Report as inadecuate

The Iliad and the Odyssey of Student Attrition. AIR 1994 Annual Forum Paper. - Download this document for free, or read online. Document in PDF available to download.

This paper uses the analogies of the Iliad and the Odyssey to examine different types of college student withdrawal behavior in the context of a study an integrated model of student retention at Angelo State University (ASU) in Texas. The study selected 824 first time freshmen of whom 343 responded to the mailed ASU Freshman Experiences survey. Persistence behavior data were collected from institutional transcripts. Exploratory factor analysis was applied to the data and interpreted in terms of Tinto's Student Integration Model and Bean's Student Attrition Model. Results found three characteristics distinguished persisters from dropouts and from transfer students: (1) greater encouragement from family, (2) better academic performance, and (3) greater commitment to the institution. Encouragement from family was the most significant of these factors. Neither social integration, academic integration, college choice, goal commitment, degree aspirations, nor attitudes toward financial aid programs explained decisions to transfer to other institutions. Results showing the importance of family encouragement in the study results suggest that such interventions such as parent orientation programs may be effective in reducing dropouts. Appendices include the survey instrument, four figures, and four tables. Contains 29 references. (JB)

Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Academic Persistence, College Freshmen, Dropouts, Environmental Influences, Family Attitudes, Higher Education, Models, School Holding Power, Social Influences, Student Motivation, Transfer Students

Author: Allen, Dave


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