Factors Affecting the Retention of Students in Community Colleges

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Education - Theory

Addressing Retention Issues in Community CollegesUsing Transition and Ecological/Environment Theory

Many community colleges face serious retention issues that affect student performance, persistence, and learning. The rationale employed in identifying alternative assessments involves overriding standardized test validities and predictive reliability issues. However, there are concerns regarding the derived holistic understanding among student outcomes. The goal of providing college educators through alternative supplemental approaches facilitate standardized testing of various evaluative measures as introduced. The issues of student self-assessment and social and value-added assessments, evaluations, and personal growth portfolios within community colleges had increased. The design suggests an institution of the writing and implementation of parallel outcomes in the studies are linked to different fundamental questions serving as subjects of confirm relevance to campus dynamics and student success.

The levels involved in making the students leave or stay are informative points on student engagement. This includes social and academic connection and involvement with campus communities. This is valued based on vital student success and retention. The necessary information for student development theory interests the exploration of the missed marks gauges actual student development within colleges. The program determines the leadership of community colleges is noted to have traditional institutional quality measures that are inappropriate in the application of community colleges. In the end, most community colleges across the nation move towards value-added assessment approaches. The institutional perspective establishes value-added assessment without a mere measure of how students perform based on assessment measures and the way institutions influence student outcomes (Tovar & Simon, 2006).

Addressing the concerns requires that educators recognize the diverse learning styles while applying alternative assessment measures for purposes of evaluating learning within productive college student populations. The workshops inform process modification through the introduction of new courses. The analysis and research of all student retention within community colleges is a continuous endeavor. Ideally, the issues present development recommendations for student retention plans that are availed in light of existing issues.

The origin of the theory is traced back to the 18th Century. Further, the stakeholder pool includes students, immediate families, and re-contributing alumni. Over the years, retention experts' claim that the ability of an institution to display student success enhances their abilities in attracting and recruiting new students as intertwined. The issues also permit cognitive and non-cognitive evaluation domains across defined periods (McCoy, 2014). The college educators are charged with the need of employing assessment strategies with the fair focus on addressing diverse student learning experiences and styles. Students have persistence towards completion of respective educational goals as a student success gauge and overall institutional success. The frequently established statistics are linked to student success, and retention rates for freshman and sophomore years. This is also applied in the establishment of annual return rate in the first year coupled with cohort graduation rates.

Some of the examples of transition theory include the students' annual return rate is a progressive county of programs with a direct relationship to the level and certificate completion. The retention concept is inclusive of yearly retention plans and persistence rates in the graduation numbers. The statistics are representative of student success. Financial exigencies within college operations face community colleges in time for the required retention plans. The strategic research and analysis segments of reports consider vital characteristics like sex, academic aptitude, ethnic origin, parents' formal education, and high school achievement. The behaviors addressed include involvement in college organizations and activities to achieve cohesion among students (Jalomo, 2000). The research permits the consideration of institutional characteristics and the impacts rendered to student retention. More precisely, variance in retention rates is defined through models positing retention rates as functions of independent variables.

The initial steps to understanding issues in student retention among community college settings included delineating between roles and missions of educational settings coupled with students attending the institution (Bronfenbrenner, 1994). Most community colleges require specialized criteria in tracking various levels of student retention such as definitions and the establishment of appropriate database lines. The outcomes and steps of the community colleges are designed and implemented through appropriate conservation strategies and programs for purposes of enhancing student retention (Tovar & Simon, 2006).

Further, there are dramatic demonstrations for cost efficient institutions in retaining students that are currently recruited based on replaced costs (Forney & DiBrito, 1998).Although community universities and colleges have common student curriculum, achievement, and attendances, the objectives differ in
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terms of workplace skill development (Harris, Hughey, Ryan & Carlstrom, 2011). Additionally, community college learning environments are minimally less homogeneous because of different work and family demands among students. Therefore, it becomes difficult to make generalized measures and definitions in developing student retention strategies in universities and community colleges (Jalomo, 2000).

The public debate era has raised scrutiny on college access where educators are encouraged to avail substantive, conducive, and meaningful learning experiences to diverse student populations. Further, such challenges select and administer appropriate strategies for assessing higher levels of preparation for college, college outcomes, and skills acquisition. The inclusion also examines the manner in which traditional assessment measure student training and performance within college-level education to produce differential results (Evans, Forney, & Guido-DiBrito, 2010). Some substantive offers and suggestions aimed at achieving alternative approaches and measuring skills acquisition from college environments.

There are various levels of criticism involved in the lack of state requirements among the assessed student outcomes. The growth in states encourages increased funding performance assessment results and value-added assessments overall college experiences that are still ignored and underfunded. The absence of thorough consideration in implementing the measures including value-added assessments ensures difficulty among community colleges in moving past examinations level (Renn & Anorld, 2003). The main attempt involves measuring academic competency. In modern times, the relevance placed on the student achievement techniques includes a measure of standardized tests appearing as an outweighed effort of overall benefits.


Further, the ecological and environmental issues in student retention include the concept also provides empirical evidence on various stages of student success. The main researchers linked to the theory include William Perry. While the quality measures within various institutions are based on product development, graduation, and retention rates pose concerns to accrediting policymakers, agencies, and the taxpayers. In the recent past, retention literature appears to concentrate on particular issues. First, research perceives retention as one of the factors in enrollment management for that there are placements of attention within the developed predictive attrition models (Scoggin & Styron, 2006). The high-risk students often show good practices and verifiable performance levels in the end. Third, the scholarly interest is broadened for purposes of including organizational success factors. Colleges also focused on the development of practical approaches to mobilizing campus-wide attempts as a way of improving retention (Tovar & Simon, 2006).

The main researchers linked to the theory include Arthur W. Chickering. The contention source is whether the standardized assessment test engages valid measures and has the accurate assessment of the proposed measures. For example, the measure of SAT scores for black and white students in one income-level and overall scores are similar. Ideally, the ability to comprehend reading selections is dependent on the cultural experiences and background availed to middle or upper- class students partaking in various levels of foreign travel. The alternative assessment techniques combine with the evaluation methods in painting a thorough picture of the learning capability of the student. The support involved in employing the alternative assessment measures within colleges developed through test scores and academic coursework relevant to existing performance-based evaluations. These are important in complementing the traditional measures. Research shows that the assessment tests are called upon to include an active demonstration of competencies as compared to the mere recitation of computations performance or facts (Tovar & Simon, 2006). Additionally, the assessment measures that are major items of learning outcomes opposed explorations in the learning processes. Attempts of employing value-added estimates have placed community colleges demonstrations of willingness in assessing whether the college experiences benefit overall lives of the students.

The theory selected is relevant to the college retention issue includes the elements also work towards contributing towards an understanding of complex retention puzzles. The issues also identify the common themes within conservation literature while continuing to be the modern-day interest. The items are identified as academic uncertainty and boredom where transition and adjustment difficulties are limited to certain expectations of college, academic preparedness, irrelevancy, and incompatibility. The issues of performance encompass principal perspectives with the essential development of student retention models in community college environments. The definitions are identified through extensive forms of funding denominators and criterion for gauging student retention (Scoggin & Styron, 2006). The levels of knowledgeable and current student retention theories are necessary or advancing ideas in community colleges. Research creates order in developing benefits of perspective with critical familiarity with the existing states of development. In service learning, courses have specific designs used in engaging students with external communities while providing services for particular firms. The courses take the design of connecting theory with practice against building stronger relationships with external stakeholders (Evans, Forney,…

Sources Used in Documents:


Braxton, J.M., & Doyle, W.R. (2013). Rethinking College Student Retention. New York: John Wiley & Sons,

Bronfenbrenner, U. (1994). Ecological Models of Human Development. International Encyclopedia of Education, vol. 3, 2nd ed., 131-214.

Evans, N.J., Forney, D.S., & Guido-DiBrito, F. (2010). Student Development in College: Theory, Research, and Practice. Jossey-Bass Higher and Adult Education Series.

Forney, E., & DiBrito, G. (1998).Student Development in College: Theory, Research, and Practice. pp. 111-114.

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