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Powering the TRIO Train: Review of Student Retention Theories Presented By Dr. Glenn Lang

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All Aboard- Powering the TRIO TrainReview of Student Retention Theories : 

All Aboard- Powering the TRIO TrainReview of Student Retention Theories Glenn B. Lang, EdD

Session Overview : 

Session Overview gbl, 2009 2 This session will engage participants in a discussion about the major (recognized) theories and models of college student departure and retention. This reflects the basic tenets of CAS Standards that TRIO and other Educational Opportunity Programs should be: Intentional, Coherent Based on theories & knowledge of learning & human development, Reflective of developmental & demographic profiles of the student population The central focus of this session is to have participant examine and understand the theoretical and research-based underpinnings of their programs’ structure, strategies and activities.

Session Objectives Participants will: : 

Session Objectives Participants will: gbl, 2009 3 Be exposed to the commonly accepted terms & jargon found in retention-related literature & research Be exposed to foundational models/theories of student departures & retention Receive a bibliography of current student learning & retention-related research & evidence—based programs

There is no silver bullet! : 

4 There is no silver bullet! The distinction of success is the talent, attitude, & commitment of those directly & indirectly responsible for the program, service, or interventions. You can have the best designed model, the right technology, etc… But having the right People makes the difference! Typically, successes involve the right staff, the right faculty, & overt commitment from the right executive administrator(s)

Retention Models: Things to look for : 

Retention Models: Things to look for 5 Each model has important assumptions about why students stay or leave & what types of programs, activities, & processes you need to provide These assumptions define what you assess & evaluate Important Terms Involvement Engagement Validation Integration Academic Social Organizational Social Learning Theory Self-Efficacy Coping Skills Locus of Control (Internal & external) - (Achievement) Motivation (Intrinsic & Extrinsic) Self-Regulation Constraints/Enablers Discourses (social, intellectual & cultural capital)

Re-thinking Our View of Retention : 

Re-thinking Our View of Retention 6 “To retain” is what institutions do “To persist” is what students do Whether with us or in a different setting Student persistence rates far outstrip institutional retention rates.

Differing perspectives : 

Differing perspectives gbl, 2009 7 2 different discourses on student retention & support services One predominates, centering on what institutions do to fit students into their existing cultures. The other is still emerging and challenges the dominant discourse. Rather than requiring students to fit the existing institutional culture, it suggests that cultures be adapted to better fit the needs of increasingly diverse students.

Slide 8: 

gbl, 2007 8 A multi-theoretical approach to understanding student learning, student departure & student persistence is needed because human learning, student success defy simple single solutions.

Common factors in student retention models & research : 

Common factors in student retention models & research

General trends in the study of student retention : 

General trends in the study of student retention Sociological Since 1970, the main theoretical tradition in the study of student retention Search for commonalities of behavior that distinguish groups of students who persist from groups of students who leave Psychological and socio-psychological Concerned with how individuals assess themselves in an educational context Began to develop after 1980 How the cultural factors typical of subgroups of students affect retention decisions & economic factors affect retention

Examples of Student Retention/Learning Theories & Models : 

Examples of Student Retention/Learning Theories & Models Student Development Theories Chickering Marcia Perry Kholeberg College/Institutional Impact Theories Astin’s Theory of Involvement Tinto’s Theory of Student Departure Psychological and socio-psychological Bean & Eaton Motivation Theories ( Maslow, McClelland, Vroom Expectancy, Keller ARCS) Self-Esteem, Self-Concept, Self-Confidence Self-Regulation Cognitive Skills & Intellectual Growth Piaget Cognitive/Learning Styles Bloom’s Taxonomy Marzano’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives Critical-thinking

Student Departure/Retention Models - Examples : 

Student Departure/Retention Models - Examples Astin's Theory of Involvement , IEO & Student Engagement The more involved a student is with the college, the higher likelihood of student retention. Tinto’s Model of Student Departure Peer group interactions and faculty interactions lead to social integration. Academic and social integration work together to influence ongoing goal and institutional commitments, which, in turn, lead to the decision to remain in, or to leave, college Has had the greatest influence on our understanding of student retention.Students enter college with family and individual attributes as well as precollege schooling. They enter with certain commitments, both to finishing college and to staying at their college. Bean & Eaton’s Psycho social model 3 psychological processes affect academic and social integration. While attitude-behavior theory provides an overall structure for the model, self-efficacy theory, coping behavioral (approach-avoidance) theory, and attribution (locus of control) theory are used to explain how students develop academic and social integration. Lawrence - Framework for Student Transition & Model for Student Success Incorporates Social Learning Theory, Critical Theory, Critical Reflection, & Critical Discourse Theory Student persistence results from critical learning activities including developing socio-cultural competencies, critical practice & socio-cultural practice There are multiple institutional cultures & the student transition & adjustment is a multi-cultural experience

Astin – Student Involvement/Engagement & I-E-O Model : 

Astin – Student Involvement/Engagement & I-E-O Model 13 The strongest indicator of retention is the degree of connection to peers and faculty that a student makes Identifies the quality of interactions between students & their peers, faculty members, & institutional staff as critical in students’ decisions to dropout or stay in college. An individual’s comfort within the campus climate, as the critical variable in retention Reinforces the importance of student contact or involvement I-E-O theory posits that student outcomes are jointly influenced by: inputs (i.e., student background characteristics) & college environments (e.g., students’ participation in various programs, enrollment in specific colleges, perceptions, in-class & out-of-class activities, etc.). Involvement The amount of energy that the student devotes to the academic experience However research demonstrates For traditional students, college attendance is a normal rite of passage and a part of family tradition “Nontraditional “students, find it difficult to get involved It appears that nontraditional students do not perceive involvement as them taking the initiative. They perceive it when someone takes an active role in assisting them“ ( Rendon, 1994) Engagement/validation

Student Engagement : 

Student Engagement The Student School/Institution 14 The amount of time & effort students put into their studies & other educationally purposeful activities What students do with an institution’s / program’s resources for learning How the institution deploys its resources & organizes the curriculum, other learning opportunities, & support services to induce students to participate in activities that lead to the experiences & desired outcomes such as persistence, satisfaction, learning, & graduation

Astin’s IEO Model : 

Astin’s IEO Model 15

Tinto’s Theory of Student Departure“…the stronger a student’s level of social & academic integration, the greater his or her subsequent commitment to the institution & to the goal of college graduation” : 

Tinto’s Theory of Student Departure“…the stronger a student’s level of social & academic integration, the greater his or her subsequent commitment to the institution & to the goal of college graduation” 16 Foundations Sociology Alienation/Suicide Anthropology Rites of Passage Basic Concepts Integration Academic Social Longitudinal Focus on institutional culture & practices Student Commitment Goals Institution Landmark theoretical model provides the framework for numerous college student retention studies. Posits that student-institution fit shapes students’ goal commitment & commitment to the institution, which ultimately influences student persistence. Students who are more involved & connected to their classes, fellow students, & campus are more likely to persist Extent to which a student is socially & academically integrated into the academic & social systems of an institution overtime influences the decision to stay or dropout Explore the multifaceted functioning of interactions between the student & the college academic & social systems on student persistence. How do program activities foster: Student goal commitment? Student institutional commitment/engagement? Student transition? Student academic & social integration?

Slide 17: 

Tinto’s Modified Model of Student Persistence External Commitments Academic System Academic Integration External Commitments Intentions Goal & Institutional Commitment Adapted from Tinto, 1997 Quality of Student Effort Social Integration Social System Time Classes Labs Studios Learning Persistence 17

Braxton, et. al. Revision of Tinto for Residential Students : 

Braxton, et. al. Revision of Tinto for Residential Students Social Integration Source: Adapted from Braxton, Sullivan & Johnson, 1997 Posits the primacy of social integration Notice the importance of psychological & affective factors

Braxton, et. al., Revision of Tinto for Commuter Institutions - 2 : 

Braxton, et. al., Revision of Tinto for Commuter Institutions - 2 gblang2007 Source: Adapted from Braxton, Sullivan & Johnson, 1997

Bean & Eaton – Psychological ModelStresses the importance of institution provisions for service-learning, freshman interestgroups & other learning communities, freshman orientation seminars, & mentoring programsto support student success. : 

Bean & Eaton – Psychological ModelStresses the importance of institution provisions for service-learning, freshman interestgroups & other learning communities, freshman orientation seminars, & mentoring programsto support student success. 20 Foundation Social (Cognitive) Leaning Theory Attitude-behavior theory Coping Behavioral theory Self-efficacy theory Attribution Theory Basic Concepts Self-efficacy Locus of Control Coping Skills/Stress Management Self-Regulation Describes the psychological processes that lead to academic & social integration Self Efficacy How does a student’s participation in the program help the student develop positive attitudes toward the college & her/himself as a student at this college? How does a student’s participation in this program help the student feel academically or socially successful? Coping Skills How does a student’s participation in this program help the student learn strategies to approach new academic & social situations & cope successfully with them? Locus of Control How does a student’s participation in this program help the students feel in control of their lives as students at this institution Self-Regulation How does a student’s participation in this program help them learn to develop short-term & long term goals and develop the critical behaviors & attitudes required to meet these goals? Gbl 2010

Bean & Eaton’s Psychological Model of College Student Retention : 

21 Bean & Eaton’s Psychological Model of College Student Retention Entry Characteristics Environmental Interactions Psychological Processes Psychological Outcomes Intermediate Outcomes Attitudes & Intention Behavior Source: Beam & Eaton 2001

Lawrence – Framework for Student Transition & Model for Student Success : 

Lawrence – Framework for Student Transition & Model for Student Success 22 Foundations Social Learning Theory Critical Theory Critical Reflection Critical Discourse Theory Basic Concepts Critical Discourse Shift Literacies Practices Developing Socio-cultural Competencies Critical Reflective Multiple Institutional Cultures Student transition & adjustment is a multi-cultural experience A reflective-social-cultural transition model - useful for orientation, developmental counseling workshops & leadership development Retention is a measure of successful transition(ing) to a new/diverse environment How does your program: Help students learn, understand & master the multiple discourses of the institution? Develop students’ ability to seek help and information? Develop students’ ability to receive help and feedback? Develop the ability to make conversation & social contacts across a multiplicity & diversity of individuals & groups? Develop the ability to participate in groups & teams?

Lawrence - Framework for Student Transition : 

23 Lawrence - Framework for Student Transition Students Transition: Becoming Familiar with & engaging Retention: Mastering & demonstrating Student Persistence & Achievement Faculty, discipline & course academic discourses Administrative languages & practices Balancing study/personal/social lives Time management Coping skills & stress management Student/staff interactions Institutional culture/life Academic literacies & skills Assessment Testing literacies Research & information literacies Critical & Reflective thinking Institutional Culture (A multiplicity of subcultures each with its own literacy/discourse) Source: Lawrence, 2005

Lawrence - Model for Student SuccessA reflective-social-cultural transition model- useful for orientation, developmental counseling workshops & leadership development ( gbl, 2006) : 

Lawrence - Model for Student SuccessA reflective-social-cultural transition model- useful for orientation, developmental counseling workshops & leadership development ( gbl, 2006) Reflective practice Refection on action/attitudes & behaviors before acting Critical practice Self-awareness of your own beliefs/value system(s) (domain) Awareness of the critical steps affecting one’s transition/retention Learning to balance yourself and the new academic game Social-cultural practice The transition to college is a cross-social cultural experience Help students develop/expand self-efficacy in a cross/multi-cultural context Reflective practice Social- Cultural practice Critical Practice Dynamic SUCCESS practices Observation & listening Learning to debate & disagree Seeking help & information Seeking & offering feedback Making/expanding Social contacts Participating in groups Reflection before practice Reflection in practice Reflection after practice Critical discourse awareness Critical Self-awareness Source: Lawrence, 2005

Lawrence – Critical Literacies : 

Lawrence – Critical Literacies gbl, 2010 25 Socio-cultural competencies, such as seeking help, participating in a team, making social contact, seeking and giving feedback University-based literacies such as academic literacy and numeracy, information literacies, administrative, library and research literacies Self-management literacies including time and stress management