¶ … students adjust and acclimate better to the college environment, and others drop out. Because the results of the study have relevance for how universities help their matriculating students adjust, it is highly relevant. Retention of students is a matter of ethics and social justice, as well as a financial concern. The authors note that the study is motivated by the fact that 40% of all college students leave before they finish their degree, and that emotional, academic, and social adjustment is often the reason why. Persistence is one of the core independent variables. Additionally, transcripts were used to measure the dependent variable of attrition.
The research is exploratory, meaning the hypothesis does not indicate causation. Instead, the hypothesis takes into account three areas that the researchers believe impact attrition, including academic adjustment, social adjustment, and emotional adjustment. It is presumed that improving these three types of adjustments will increase retention of students and their completing their degree.
387 male and female students participated, and pre-matriculation a survey instrument was used to measure anticipated adaptation. There was a follow-up survey issued later to measure self-perceived actual adjustment on the three levels of social, academic, and emotional. Issues related to
Transcripts revealed dropout vs. retention rates, as well as the relative academic standings of all students regardless of attrition status. Surveys measuring self-perceptions such as expected adaptations to college did correlate with actual adjustment measures, which were also self-reported. MANOVA statistical analysis was used. Results suggest that prior to starting college, students have unrealistic expectations about their ability to adjust academically, but that socially and emotionally students adjusted better than they expected. However, there were differences between the dropouts who remained in good academic standing vs. those who dropped out in bad academic standing.
The authors conclude that social adjustment and emotional adjustment are as important as academic adjustment. Many students drop out not because they cannot keep up with their studies but because of other issues such as emotional, social, and psychological programs. Specific issues such as the development of social networks with other students, contacts with professors, and anxiety all have a bearing on academic success. The findings of the study can help colleges develop programs that can identify at risk students and offer support systems to prevent them from dropping out, as well as systems that…
Persistence is one of the core independent variables. Additionally, transcripts were used to measure the dependent variable of attrition.
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