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Benefits Of A Successful Retention Program

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.105.1 - 4.105.6

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Paper Authors

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William Whitaker

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3247


William Whitaker Murray State University Murray, Kentucky

I. Introduction

Colleges and universities have long known the importance of integrating the student into the institution both socially and academically. Institutions design activities that attempt to increase the likelihood of this integration occurring. The greater the integration between the student’s values, goals and attitudes with those of the institution, the more likely the student will persist (Tinto, 1975,1987).

University faculty and administrators have had concern over retention and attrition rates for quite some time. The statistics remain quite consistent; approximately 50 percent of the freshman who enroll in the nation’s colleges and universities do not persist. Programs of intervention aimed at identifying and treating these potential dropouts have grown dramatically.

II. Background

The reasons students fail to persist in their matriculation are varied and complex. The following are some of the more commonly cited causes:

1. Students may lack the basic academic skills necessary to be successful in a college program. 2. Students may have received poor advising during their initial semester and were not able to recover from an unsuccessful early attempt. 3. A lack of institutional support and interest in the student leads to a feeling of rejection or apathy. 4. Students may experience academic problems in their initial major courses that lead to doubts concerning whether college was a good choice for them. This decision is often made before considering other career or academic majors. 5. Financial problems and problems managing money cause anxiety that lead to personal and academic failure. 6. Students may lack goals or objectives when they enter as undeclared majors and they lack the persistence that is required when problems develop. When future goals are not clear students may drop out of school even when they are having academic success.

Whitaker, W. (1999, June), Benefits Of A Successful Retention Program Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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