Early Predictors of Early Freshman Year Attrition in Female Hispanic Students Page: 7
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attrition, that most students make the decision to stay in college, drop out, or transfer to another
institution (Astin, 1999; Baker, McNeil, & Siryk, 1985; Kelly, 2006; Toews & Yazedijan, 2007).
In any case, the early college career is critical and because of added barriers in the Hispanic
experience, perhaps it is not surprising that this population struggles, more than any other, during
the first year of college.
Students confront a number of new challenges as they enter the freshman year. In
general, there are more academic demands and more opportunities to make independent
decisions on subjects such as drugs, sex, alcohol, class attendance, and nutrition than there were
in high school (Pancer et al., 2000). Freshmen begin their college careers with ideas and
expectations, some realistic and some not, of what the experience is going to be. Having
unrealistic expectations about unfamiliar territory, i.e., college, can lead to bad experiences, and
can ultimately lead to the student to drop out (Bohon et al., 2006; Immerwahr & Foleno, 2000;
Keup, 2002; Moore, 2007; Nicholas, 1990; Pancer et al., 2000; Reynolds & Pumberton, 2001;
Seidman, 2005). The "freshman myth," identified as early as 1966 by Stern, encompassed these
often unrealistic, unduly optimistic and baseless expectations (Baker et al., 1985). These
unrealistic expectations can lead to dissatisfaction and frustration (Gerdes & Mallinckrodt, 1994;
Pancer et al., 2000). It is this discrepancy between expectation and reality where students may
struggle with their decision to stay or leave the institution. The more consistent a student's
expectations are with the reality they experience, the more likely they are to stay (Nicholas,
Hispanic Female College Students
Not only is the Hispanic population as a whole not keeping up with other ethnic groups in
college enrollment (i.e., the percentage of that ethnic group enrolling in college), but Hispanic
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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/m1/18/: accessed February 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .