The Relationship of Community College Student Demographic and Pre-Enrollment Background Variables with Persistence and Retention

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Student retention is one of the most important issues facing higher education. The demand for accountability of higher education has pushed the issue of student retention to the forefront of its agenda. Increasingly, state legislatures are tying funding to institutional effectiveness, using graduation rates as measures of academic quality. Though there is an abundance of literature of studies conducted at the four year institution, few studies have examined the community college student. This study attempted to identify 4 specific pre-enrollment variables, (1) parent's education, (2) high school senior grade point average, (3) educational goals and (4) racial origin, as predictors ... continued below

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xii, 158 leaves : ill.

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Coppola, William Edward August 1999.

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  • Coppola, William Edward

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Description

Student retention is one of the most important issues facing higher education. The demand for accountability of higher education has pushed the issue of student retention to the forefront of its agenda. Increasingly, state legislatures are tying funding to institutional effectiveness, using graduation rates as measures of academic quality. Though there is an abundance of literature of studies conducted at the four year institution, few studies have examined the community college student. This study attempted to identify 4 specific pre-enrollment variables, (1) parent's education, (2) high school senior grade point average, (3) educational goals and (4) racial origin, as predictors of persistence and retention. The sample included 312 entering freshmen at North Lake College in Irving, Texas who were administered the College Student Inventory (CSI) in the fall semesters of 1995 and 1996. The 1995 cohort consisted of 201 entries, 103 (51.2%) female and 98 (48.8) male. The 1996 cohort consisted of 111 entries, 65 (58.5%) female and 46 (41.5%) male. A data base was constructed by extracting selected data elements from the completed inventory. Each student was tracked for one year following the semester they completed the survey. The Pearson Chi-Square Test of Independence with .05 level of significance as the criterion level of rejection was performed to identify significant variables tied to student persistence. The research found that 3 factors, high school senior GPA, parent's education level and family origin were significant predictors of attrition at the .05 level. These factors represent information that is typically available from the student's prior to entry into the college. All too often an at-risk student is identified once he/she is placed on academic probation prompting the student to leave the college. Institutions need to implement an early warning system to identify students who are at-risk before the problem becomes intractable. The institution can then implement strategies and programs that would foster efforts to increase student engagement and retention. This study has demonstrated that there are important pre-enrollment data available to institutions that can assist potential non-persisters by identifying them early in their educational tenure.

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xii, 158 leaves : ill.

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UNT Theses and Dissertations

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  • August 1999

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  • 1995 - 1996

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  • March 24, 2014, 8:07 p.m.

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  • April 14, 2016, 7:04 p.m.

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Citations, Rights, Re-Use

Coppola, William Edward. The Relationship of Community College Student Demographic and Pre-Enrollment Background Variables with Persistence and Retention, dissertation, August 1999; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc277851/: accessed August 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .