Localizing College Retention Efforts: The Distance between Theoretical Orientation and Institution-Specific Needs


The study used a theoretically guided questionnaire to examine student experience in college and to gain a better understanding about how college environment affects student persistence. Data were collected from a single four-year institution; the findings suggest that institutional control over academic quality is the most critical factor in reducing students’ dropout intention along with their ability to pay for college education. The results highlight the inconsistency between the specific needs of students in their particular academic settings and the dominant theoretical frameworks that focus on academic and social engagement, and these results offer encouragement for localized retention interventions based on sufficient understanding of students’ experiences.

Publication Title

Innovative Higher Education