Student Retention

Improved Essays
Introduction
Educating new undergraduate students who are academically unprepared for college is a critical issue for American colleges and universities. According to Bettinger and Long (2005), there is a great number of students each year that graduate from high school academically unprepared for college. As a result, approximately one-third of entering postsecondary students require remedial or developmental coursework before enrolling in college-level courses (Bettinger & Long, 2005). The focus of this research was to identify factors or variables that may correlate to increasing the likelihood of the retention of academically underprepared college students.
Remedial education, also known as developmental education, has become a widespread
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Studies have shown that a student's sense of belonging is directly related to their retention, integration to the academic environment or decisions made to remain in school (Tinto, 1993).
Retention in higher education can be examined by using college enrollment data to examine student progression in developmental education courses, college level courses and ultimately certificate or degree attainment. By examining this data, colleges can identify the effect of intermediate attainments or momentum points such as the completion of a college success course, participation in a learning community, or completion of 30 to 45 college credits (Jenkins, 2008).
A study by Davis, et al. (2004), examined the relationship between psychosocial, study skill factors, and college outcomes by analyzing 109 studies. By using educational retention and motivational theory, they developed nine constructs: achievement motivation, academic goals, institutional commitment, perceived social support, social involvement, academic efficacy, self-concept, academic skills, and contextual influences. The two outcomes targeted were performance (GPA) and retention (retention). They found self-efficacy and institutional commitment as the strongest predictors of retention. Achievement motivation was found to be the strongest predictor for GPA (Davis
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In fact, one of the strongest voices against developmental education comes from taxpayers who believe that developmental education represents the duplication of effort and cost (Boylan, Saxon, & Link, 2000). A recent study determined that if one-third of the students taking at least one remedial course were to earn a bachelor’s degree, they would generate more than $74 billion in federal taxes and $13 billion in state and local taxes, while costing the tax payer about one billion dollars to remediate (Spann, 2000).
Student retention is an important issue for universities and colleges as well. Losing students not only has a negative impact on institutions enrollment, but also on an individual student’s career choice. Universities with high attrition rates face the substantial loss of tuition, fees, and potential alumni contributions (DeBerard, Spielmans and Julka,

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