Early Predictors of Early Freshman Year Attrition in Female Hispanic Students Page: 27
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intention of the students to graduate from their current institution and (2) academic integration,
were found to be influential but less so than social integration. Neither the students' academic
success nor the extent of their interactions with faculty were influential in the students'
stay/leave decisions. What was most important to these students was much more socially driven.
They were much more concerned about making friends and that their social expectations were
Reason et al. (2007) conducted a research study involving 6,700 students, 5,000 faculty
and 30 institutions and found results similar to those of Otera et al. (2007). Reason et al. focused
on the identification of "the individual, organizational, environmental, programmatic and policy
factors that individually and collectively shape first-year students' success- in particular, the
development of their social and personal competence" (p. 273). Reason et al. concluded from
their study that students were more satisfied with their institution when they were satisfied with
their social interactions, another research result consistent with Astin's Involvement Theory.
Experiences with diverse populations, frequent encounters with their peers, faculty and staff
support, and finding mentors were other factoring positively influencing student retention.
In summary, engagement is a critical element in the students' decision process
concerning staying with or leaving an institution of higher learning. Research cited has shown
that engagement demonstrates the level of commitment one has to the institution. Social
interaction appears to be more important in the decision to stay at an institution than academic
interaction. College and universities who provide a supportive atmosphere, support student
engagement in college life, provide opportunities for social engagement will in the end have a
satisfied student body and thus promote higher student retention.
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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/m1/38/: accessed February 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .