Factors associated with student withdrawal from a selected community college
This research was designed to identify commonalities of personal, enrollment, withdrawal, and evaluative factors as they relate to student withdrawal from a selected community college in south Mississippi. The study also sought to identify interrelationships between identified reasons for student withdrawal and the variables of gender, race, classification status, degree being sought, plans for re-enrollment, and age. A descriptive analysis was performed on the variables being studied, with frequencies and percentages being obtained and reported for each. A community college in south Mississippi served as the site of the research study. Withdrawal surveys that were completed by students at the time of withdrawal from the college provided the data source for this study with 1,196 surveys being utilized. Findings of the study were consistent with much of the literature. Results indicated that a higher percentage of withdrawals were by African Americans, females, and freshmen. Additionally, the majority of the students who withdrew were full-time students. A positive aspect identified from the analyses was that the majority of students who withdrew from the college planned to re-enroll at the college. Primary reasons for withdrawal that were identified consistently across the variables being studied included personal reasons, financial reasons, and work. An additional reason for withdrawal identified with frequency, especially noteworthy when identified by the students who reportedly were not planning to return to college, was relocation. Health was also identified as a leading cause of withdrawal with frequency increasing in students over the age of 40. The results of the study revealed that the majority of the students who were withdrawing evaluated the variables of faculty, instruction, counseling services, and college facilities as being good to excellent. Recommendations for practice and future research are presented. Administrators of colleges and universities should become proactive in assessing common factors and reasons why students are withdrawing from college. In addition, interventional strategies should be formulated and implemented to enhance retention and thereby increase the number of students who are able to see their educational dreams become a reality.