The purpose of this mixed methods study was to explore salient nonacademic factors related to social, economic, and cultural aspects together with traditional academic factors that influenced college retention. The study design employed a mixed-methods sequential explanatory method design, collecting quantitative data for correlation and regression analyses with qualitative data for content analysis. The sample included students with various SES backgrounds who graduated from North Philadelphia secondary schools since 2009. A predictor equation explained 60% of the variance college retention using 13 predictors: household income, college preparatory curriculum, competency based instruction, academic self-confidence and commitment, academic skills, academic integration, social integration, parents’ educational attainment, parents’ occupation, high school GPA, undergraduate GPA, and SAT scores. The predictors were found to be independently associated with college retention and interrelated with low SES variables, which may reduce the chances of earning a college degree. The qualitative findings indicated lack of skills, levels of academic engagement, and time allocation as major themes. Future research should explore underlying psychological processes driving the college retention relationship, using a cohort research method. A recommendation for practice was to identify students with skill deficiencies at the ninth and tenth grade levels to provide remediation of requisite skills to ensure college readiness and retention. Despite limitations, this study offered reasons low SES variables may influence college retention.
|Commitee:||Koyama, Jill, Mageehon, Ali, Williams, Charles A.|
|School:||Jones International University|
|Department:||School of Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Colorado|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational sociology, Secondary education, Higher education|
|Keywords:||At risk, Attrition, Dropout, North Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Persistence, Retention, Socioeconomic status|
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