Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Higher and Adult Education


Higher Education

Committee Chair

Jeffery Wilson

Committee Member

Wendy Griswold

Committee Member

Donna Menke

Committee Member

James Selbe


Retention among community college students is a persistent concern for higher education administrators. Complicating this concerns are the differing emphases of retention theorists and studies. Vincent Tinto suggested academic progress was a key factor in retention. John Bean and Barbara Metzner theorized that increased environmental responsibilities associated with age were a more influential factor. Complete College America reported that part-time enrollment placed students at greater risk of attrition. This study reviewed the relationship of age, enrollment intensity, and academic progress as continuous and categorical variables to the retention of community college students. All three factors had notable findings related to retention. In relation to age, adult students (20-24 years) had a significantly lower retention than other age categories. The retention ratesof middle adults (25-39 years) and older students (40 years and older) were similar to the retention of young adult students (18-19 years). In addition, part-time enrolled students had lower retention rates than full-time enrolled students. Finally, this study found that academic progress had a significant positive relationship with retention. All three factors were significant in predicting retention status with academic progress being the most significant.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.