Early Predictors of Early Freshman Year Attrition in Female Hispanic Students Page: 28
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Theoretical Framework - Early Attrition and Integration
One of the most cited and influential researcher on student attrition/retention issues in
higher education is Vincent Tinto (Longden, 2006; Winkle-Wagner, 2009). Tinto's theory of
student departure (1993) served as the primary theoretical framework for this study. Tinto found
that academic and social integration are the keys to student retention in higher education and
with them satisfactorily in place, students are more likely to graduate. Factors that play a role in
the sustainability of the student include pre- and post-enrollment characteristics of the student.
The pre-enrollment characteristics included in Tinto's study were family income, academic
achievement in high school, parent education, sex and age of the student. The student's high
school and familial experiences help form the expectations he/she has regarding their own
college experience. The post-enrollment characteristics included in Tinto's study were social
integration, academic integration, grades, commitment to the institution and commitment to
graduate. The extent to which the student's expectations "fit" with his/her actual experiences is
the determining factor in the student's decision to stay at the university or leave. The more
integrated the student is in the university the more committed he/she is to the university, and the
more positive the retention rates.
This study explored first-year Hispanic female students' academic and social pre-
enrollment expectations along with their post-enrollment academic and social experiences to
determine if there is a gap or congruence between the two. Commitment to the institution,
involvement on campus, relationships with faculty and peers and academic progress were
examined in the study, following Tinto's model. Astin's theory is valuable and similar to
Tinto's, but Tinto's theory includes a more comprehensive list of variables and is more
quantifiable than Astin's (Von Destinon, 2.1988). Tinto's theory is well-accepted and this study
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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/m1/39/: accessed November 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .