The Role of Academic and Non-Academic Factors in Improving College Retention

Topics: University, College, Postgraduate education Pages: 40 (12554 words) Published: June 13, 2013
The Role of Academic and Non-Academic Factors in Improving College Retention ACT POLICY REPORT

VERONICA A. LOTKOWSKI STEVEN B. ROBBINS RICHARD J. NOETH

ACT policy reports can be viewed and printed from ACT’s website (www.act.org/research/policy/index.html). For additional information about ACT’s policy research work, copies of ACT policy studies, or to contact the ACT Office of Policy Research staff, please e-mail us at policy@act.org.

THE ROLE OF ACADEMIC AND NON-ACADEMIC FACTORS IN IMPROVING COLLEGE RETENTION

ACT Policy Report

Veronica A. Lotkowski Steven B. Robbins Richard J. Noeth

© 2004 by ACT, Inc. All rights reserved.

IC 050804060 5608

CONTENTS

ACT Policy Research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . iv Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v Executive Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vi

1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 2 The ACT Study . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 3 Retention Strategies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 4 Recommendations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Bibliography. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 ACT Policy Reports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

ACT POLICY RESEARCH
Policy Research Advisory Panel
John C. Barnhill Director of Admissions Florida State University Julie D. Bell Program Director of Education National Conference of State Legislatures Don W. Brown Commissioner of Higher Education Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Antonio R. Flores President Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities Patricia M. McDonough Professor UCLA Graduate School of Education Suellen K. Reed Superintendent of Public Instruction Indiana Department of Education Carolynn Reid-Wallace Former President Fisk University Gerald N. Tirozzi Executive Director National Association of Secondary School Principals Molly J. Tovar Chief Operating Officer American Indian Graduate Center

Office of Policy Research Staff
Richard J. Noeth Director Veronica A. Lotkowski Senior Research Associate Diane L. Schnelker Senior Research Associate George L. Wimberly Research Associate Braden J. P. Rood Administrative Assistant

iv

PREFACE
This study, The Role of Academic and Non-Academic Factors in Improving College Retention, reflects ACT’s interest in analyzing the critical issues affecting persistence in college. It builds on extensive ACT research on retention that includes three national studies on retention practices, six national studies on academic advising (the latest published as a monograph by the National Academic Advising Association), and 20 years of data collection and reporting of college retention and degree completion rates through ACT’s Institutional Data Questionnaire. This policy report has greatly benefited from the contributions of many individuals. Several external-to-ACT educators provided considerable help in shaping the study and reviewing draft manuscripts. These individuals include John Braxton (Vanderbilt University), Andrew Cinoman (University of Iowa), Greg Hickman (Center for the Future of Arizona), and Mary Stuart Hunter (University of South Carolina). We are also grateful to Steve Hipple (Bureau of Labor Statistics) for his assistance in obtaining unpublished tabulations of unemployment data. The ACT Policy Research Advisory Panel provided recommendations about the formulation of the study and reviews of draft manuscripts. Numerous ACT staff members were involved in various stages of the study. The following ACT staff provided help on the structure of the study and/or...

Bibliography: We conducted a comprehensive review of research on the topic of postsecondary retention (Robbins et al., 2004). More than 400 studies were identified, and 109 met the criteria for inclusion in this study. Those studies selected:
I
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