In the past academic attentiveness in the concept of attrition Essay

In the past, academic attentiveness in the concept of attrition appear to relate with the increase of students enrolling into colleges and universities since the 1960’s (Horn, 2006). Awareness in the subject continued to rise, mainly in the background of concern regarding the massive monetary consequences of sizable retention rates on the national educational system and the ethical and civil rights concerns linked with comparatively low attrition rates of minority and financially underprivileged students (Noel,1985).

Over the years, the attrition literature appears to have focused on numerous problems.

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Lee Noel (1985) examined four past stages of research development. Initially, researchers regarded attrition primarily as a influence in admission management and therefore focused their attention on developing analytical models of retention. Secondly, as researchers changed their focus on revealing methods that work to reduce students retention, mainly for high risk students. Thirdly, academic interest expanded to incorporate organizational influences of effectiveness, and concentrated on initiating productive ways to organize campus wide attempts in order to enhance attrition.

Finally, additional attention has been placed on staffing; signifying that experience as well as a compassionate approach of faculty and staff eventually affects the effectiveness of attrition programs or campus wide endeavors (Noel,1985).

An examination of the attrition literature indicate that there are a pair of questions that inspire the theoretical models of retention. 1. Why do some students drop out of school? 2. Why do some students remain stay? The majority of the models and related research on attrition puts most of their emphasis on the first question, because it focuses on student dropout rate and what higher learning institutions did wrong. A limited amount of researchers have addressed the second question, which focuses on effective students and highlights what higher learning institutions do well (Noel,1985).

It is vital to stress the significance of both questions associated to departure and remaining and their related lines of inquiry; both are important to recognizing the complications linked with attrition. For instance, it is well-known that the field’s “ Obsession with outliers” has steered numerous higher learning institutions to place their undivided attention on students who have a great risk of dropping out instead of students who are in the “center of the curve”, which may be the primary reason why these institutions of higher learning cannot make considerable increases in their overall attrition indicators (Kalsbeek cited in Hoover, 2008). According to John Summerskill’s 1962 publication, he credits intellectual competence in meeting the requirements of academic programs and students’ individual characteristics as the key influences controlling persistence, encouraged dialogue on what causes students to drop out of college. During the 1960s and 1970s, psychological influences and clarifications dictated theoretical improvement and research on attrition (e.g., Heilbrun, 1965; Rose and Elton, 1966; Marks, 1967; Rossmann and Kirk, 1070; Waterman and Waterman, 1972). Vincent Tinto’s efforts have led the way for a sociological examination of attrition (e.g., 1975, 1987, and 1993), which has been well-liked for numerous years. His examination and that of his supporters may be recognized for increasing the discussion on the causes of retention and also for focusing their attention on institutional influences that sway retention, specifically the significance of academic and social integration in decreasing dropout rates.

Originally adding on Emile Durkheim’s (1951) work on the social roots of social deviation and William Spady’s (1971) presentation of anomie theory (i.e., the effect of relative normlessness on human behavior) to describe the dropping out process, Tinto’s model mainly on educational integration (i.e., sharing academic values) and societal integration (i.e., developing student and faculty friendships) to justify for distinctions in retention rates. In spite of this, ensuing interpretation of his theory, he places more prominence on the collaborations between individual and institutional influences and enhances other theoretical perceptions such as Van Gennep’s (1960), rites of passage theory, indicating that integration may be facilitated by effectively parting from relatives and high school friendships.

An integrated multi-level model was created in order to evaluate the initial causes of dropping out and unites characteristics and background variables (Bean & Eaton , 2000). Some examples include high school students experiences; students’ academic goals; family support; how students work together with the institutional bureaucratic structures; external factors (i.e., financial situation or personal relationships outside of college);and how students’ are defiance toward themselves and the school (Bean & Eaton , 2000). This model links attitude-behavior theory, self-efficacy theory, coping-behavior theory, organizational turnover theory, social integration and alienation theory.

In the book, What Matters in College, Alexander Astin (1997), focused on the patterns of engagement displayed by effective students. He infers that the solutions to achievements or graduation are participation and relationships. Participation represents both academic or intellectual interest as well as co-curricular activities. Amid the key measures of educational involvement is the time devoted on educational studies and missions, and the growth of higher cognitive skills (e.g., understanding, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation). Co-curricular participation incorporates measures of participation in institutional events and membership in educational/honors organizations and social groups. Relationships refers to bonding with colleagues, faculty, and staff members as well as sharing the institutional standards.

George Kuh wrote a similar book which focused on the role of students engagement in students achievements. In his coauthored book, Students Success in College: Creating Conditions that Matter, Kuh and his acquaintances describe key guidelines and procedures following a two-year study (called Documenting Effective Educational Practices (DEEP) project) of 20 well-performing educational institutions all of which embody higher than anticipated student commitment as point out by student responses on the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and higher than anticipated graduation rates.

The majority of research on the theme of retention is not motivated by a well-known theory. There has been numerous theories and studies that focus on specific features of retention, determination, or course completion (Braxton, 2000). There are numerous themes on retention that are currently being utilized as a result of their abundance of information. Most of the topics categorized are academic tediousness and ambiguity, partial or idealistic expectations of college, academic under attentiveness, and irrelevancy ( Noel, 1985). The Noel-Levitz National Center for Enrollment Management tracks retention data, research outcomes, and information from campuses around the country and internationally on which systems are successful and which ones are not for a number of years. There are some retention guidelines in place designed to help summarize some vital results of retention-related research and advanced information related to retention.

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