Academic Leadership: The Online Journal (2003-2012)


According to the Center for the Study of College Student Retention (2008), nearly 50% of students entering higher education will not earn a degree. Higher education institutions continually define and refine strategic initiatives to increase retention rates, often devoting countless hours and resources with minimal results. A recent report by the National Center for Education Statistics (Chen & Carroll, 2007) found that students enrolled part-time lagged significantly behind full-time peers in persistence in postsecondary degree completion. Stratton, O’Toole, and Wetzel (2007) stated that enrollment status alone does not account for lower retention rates among part-time students. These researchers found that the retention differences between part-time and full-time students were closely tied to enrollment objectives. The researchers noted substantial differences in part-time student demographics, pointing out that part-time students tend to be older, married, Hispanic, financially independent, and from less educated families.


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