Early Predictors of Early Freshman Year Attrition in Female Hispanic Students Page: 6
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time, working part-time, working full-time, delayed enrollment and attending a community
college (Fry, 2003). A lack of social capital is another risk for Hispanic students of not
graduating from college. As Admon (2004) stated, the Hispanic population, more than any other
ethnic group, lacks social capital, the "features of social life-networks, norms and trust- that
enable participants to act together more effectively to pursue shared objectives" (p.11). Many
Hispanics are the first in their families to attend college and they do not have the resources such
as family members or members within their social circle that went to college who could help
them prepare, anticipate and navigate through the college experience. Another risk factor for
Hispanic students is the lack of academic preparation. (Zalaquett, 2006). All of these risks make
the transition and integration into college life even more critical if more Hispanic students are to
enter college and realize the economic advantages in today's economy (Jackson, 2000).
After a student enrolls in higher education, retaining that student through graduation
should be the goal of higher education. Enrollment in higher education is not equivocal to
obtaining a degree, but presents only the opportunity to obtain a degree (Fry, 2002). Retaining
students through graduation is a difficult task for colleges and universities, but it is important to
approach that goal one step at a time. To increase the percentage of students graduating from
college, institutions of higher education must improve first-year retention rates. Over one-third
of all first-time-in-college students drop out of college within the first two years (Tinto, 1993;
Pancer, Hunsberger, Pratt, & Alisat, 2000; Seidman, 2005; Yazedijan & Toews, 2006). Some
researchers say most attrition happens during the first year (Tinto, 1993; Hicks, 2005; Rausch &
Hamilton, 2006; Yazedijan & Toews, 2006), particularly among Hispanics students (Otero
Rivas, & Rivera, 2007). Others say it is usually during the first semester. i.e., early first year
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Speed, Heather Faye. Early Predictors of Early Freshman Year Attrition in Female Hispanic Students, dissertation, August 2011; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103396/m1/17/: accessed February 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .