Early Predictors of Early Freshman Year Attrition in Female Hispanic Students Page: 26
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Hispanic students are hesitant to join organizations and get involved on campus. Students
inevitably compare their expectations of their social interactions with their experiences to
determine if they are satisfied. If these experiences did not meet their expectations meaning fell
substantially below their expectations, then the student may decide to leave the institution
Astin (1977) closely studied student involvement about 40 years ago and developed his
involvement theory describing the importance of engagement. A student engaging or getting
involved with their institution can come in many forms. Involvement can be joining an
organization, participating in study groups, playing intramural sports and/or developing
relationships with peers and faculty. Each of these types of involvement increases the
probability that these students will decide to stay in college. As cited in Reason et al. (2007),
Astin (1993) stated "the students peer group is the single most potent source of influence on
growth and development during the undergraduate years" (p. 398). Numerous studies have
illustrated that contact between the student and faculty and the student and peers and the
development of relationships between these leads to engagement in the institution, resulting in
higher retention rates, especially among Hispanic students (Pascarella & Terenzini, 1991; Strage,
1999). Researchers who have demonstrated the importance of engagement are Otero et al.
(2007) and Reason et al. (2007).
Otero et al. (2007) surveyed 134 students who failed at least one portion of their
placement exams at a predominantly Hispanic university in the Southwest, as part of a study
aimed at better understanding the students' decision process to stay or drop out of the university.
They found that social integration played a primary role in the stay/leave decision- a finding
consistent with Astin's involvement theory. In their study, other factors, principally (1) the
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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/m1/37/: accessed July 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .