Understanding and Reducing College Student Departure: ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report / Edition 1

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Student departure is a long-standing problem to colleges anduniversities. Approximately 45 percent of students enrolled intwo-year colleges depart during their first year, and approximatelyone out of four students departs from a four-year college oruniversity. The authors advance a serious revision of Tinto'spopular interactionalist theory to account for student departure,and they postulate a theory of student departure in commutercolleges and universities.

This volume delves into the literature to describe exemplarycampus-based programs designed to reduce student departure. Itemphasizes the importance of addressing student departure through amultidisciplinary approach, engaging the whole campus. It proposesnew models for nonresidential students and students from diversebackgrounds, and suggests directions for further research.

Academic and student affairs administrators seekingresearch-based approaches to understanding and reducing studentdeparture will profit from reading this volume. Scholars of thecollege student experience will also find it valuable in definingnew thrusts in research on the student departure process.

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Product Details

Table of Contents


The Ill-Structured Problem of College StudentDeparture.

Overview of the Volume.

Intended Audience.

Tinto’s Interactionalist Theory.

Tinto’s Interactionalist Theory.

An Empirical Assessment of Tinto.

Propositions Receiving Strong Support.

Explanations for Unanticipated Academic IntegrationFindings.

Tinto’s Theory: Revise or Abandon?

Toward a Revision of Tinto’s Theory for ResidentialColleges and Universities.

Influences on Social Integration.

Underlying Conceptual Orientation of the Six Influences.

Tinto’s Theory Revisited in Residential Colleges andUniversities.

Implications for Racial or Ethnic Minority Students.

Student Departure in Commuter Colleges andUniversities.

Sixteen Propositions: Elements of a Theory of Student Departurein Commuter Institutions.

Formulating a Theory of Student Departure in Commuter Collegesand Universities.

Exemplary Student Retention Programs.

Sources of Retention Programs.

Selecting Exemplary Retention Programs.

Nine Exemplary Retention Programs.

Reducing Institutional Rates of Departure.

An Overarching Recommendation.

Powerful Institutional Levers of Action.

Residential Colleges and Universities.

Commuter Colleges and Universities.

Reducing the Departure of Racial or Ethnic MinorityStudents.

Conclusions and Recommendations for Scholarship.


Recommendations for Further Scholarship.

Closing Thoughts.


Name Index.

Subject Index.

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