BOOKS FOR TEACHERS, ADMINISTRATORS, AND POLICYMAKERS IN HIGHER EDUCATION

Improving College Student Retention

New Developments in Theory, Research, and Practice

Paperback
June 2023
9781642672176
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  • Publisher
    Stylus Publishing
  • ISBN 9781642672176
  • Language English
  • Pages 372 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"
  • Images 13 figures, 11 tables
$45.00
Hardback
June 2023
9781642672169
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  • Publisher
    Stylus Publishing
  • ISBN 9781642672169
  • Language English
  • Pages 372 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"
  • Images 13 figures, 11 tables
$150.00
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June 2023
9781642672183
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  • Publisher
    Stylus Publishing
  • ISBN 9781642672183
  • Language English
  • Pages 372 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"
  • Images 13 figures, 11 tables
$150.00
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June 2023
9781642672190
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  • Publisher
    Stylus Publishing
  • ISBN 9781642672190
  • Language English
  • Pages 372 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"
  • Images 13 figures, 11 tables
$45.00

Higher education institutions have already begun to see decreasing enrollment numbers, even as higher education enrollment is predicted to drop precipitously starting in 2025. Much of the decrease in enrollment will be driven by demographic trends about which higher education institutions can do little, making the retention of students who do enroll that much more important. Overall retention rates have stagnated and differential retention rates by race and ethnicity have persisted. If higher education institutions, researchers, and policy makers are to improve retention rates, a critical examination of the current state and future directions of retention research is essential.

This edited volume begins that examination by addressing several questions: What are the needed directions in theory and research on college student persistence and how do we translate new theory and research into effective practices? Are we asking the right questions, looking in the right places, or trying to apply out-of-date theories to new populations? In short, how can the research community help institutions improve retention in this challenging time?

"Throughout their distinguished careers Robert Reason and John Braxton have been two of the most astute and productive scholars working in the field of postsecondary education.  In this edited volume they have gathered a superb list of authors who cogently examine contemporary developments in theory, research, and practice regarding college student retention. It is the best book I have read on this crucial topic in the last twenty years. I recommend it most enthusiastically."

Ernie Pascarella, the Petersen Endowed Chair Emeritus at the University of Iowa

“As higher education institutions are seeking to improve retention rates, questions about how to retain students continue. In this book the editors seek to truly ask the “right questions” about retention theories and practices. Acknowledging that foundational theories did not properly encompass the diverse student experiences or institutional contexts present today, the authors focus on providing enhanced or new theories practitioners can use. This book moves beyond the theoretical to applying what is currently known in research to practice.”

Vasti Torres, Ph.D., Professor and Executive Dean, School of Education, Indiana University - Bloomington

“Higher education needs this book. The authors recognize that retention theories must be inclusive of today’s college students and the breadth of institutions in which they study. Not only do they review and revise theory, but the authors detail how college leaders have applied theory to improve institutional practice. For leaders looking for examples of how changes in organizational action improve student persistence, this book is required reading."

Tricia Seifert, Dean and Professor, College of Education, Health & Human Development, Montana State University, and author of "How College Affects Students, Third Edition"

“The comprehensive review provided by Reason and Braxton addresses some of the most important questions in higher education, from the relationship between research and practice to how mainstream theory and research have failed to adequately incorporate experiences of minoritized student populations. Crucially, in addition to providing a thoughtful description of existing research, the chapters in the volume offer a path for achieving a more vibrant, relevant, and holistic account of college student persistence. This volume, thus, is not only a great reference of the work to date but also an inspiration for the work that is yet to come.”

Josipa Roksa, Professor of Sociology and Education, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education, University of Virginia

“Readers who take seriously the evidence and practical guidance offered in this extraordinary text have a real shot at actually improving college student retention and success. Reason and Braxton, two leading higher education scholars, have assembled an impressive cadre of experts. Together, they have gifted the field a high-quality resource that has the potential to benefit millions of collegians.”

Shaun Harper, Clifford and Betty Allen Professor, University of Southern California

1: Improving College Student Retention: New Developments in Theory, Research, and Practice--Robert D. Reason and John M. Braxton

Part One: Theories and Models

2: A Review of New or Revised “Theories” Since 2014--Willis A. Jones

3: Charting a New Course: An Examination of Theories and Models of Retention for Students of Colors in Higher Education: Implications for Practice and Research--Robert T. Palmer and Larry J. Walker

4: Toward the Revision of Two Empirically-Supported Theories of College Student Persistence--Robert D. Reason and John M. Braxton

Part Two: Research

5: Inventorying the Articles on Student Retention Published in Core Higher Education Journals over the past 10 Years--Ann M. Gansemer-Topf, Rachael Smith, Jodi Wilson and Maggie Bell

6: Socio-demographic Characteristics and College Student Persistence--Darris R. Means and Dena Kniess

7: Organizational Behavior and Student Persistence in College--Maria Javiera De Los Rios and Leticia Oseguera

8: Engaging Diverse Students: The Relationship of Students’ Experiences and Environments with Persistence and Graduation--KC Culver and Nicholas A. Bowman

9: Studying Students as they Swirl: Methodological Challenges of Studying Student Retention in the Age of Student Mobility--Jungmin Lee

Part Three: Practice

10: Impediments to Translation of Research Findings into Action--Kristen A. Renn and Brandon Smith

11: A Translation of Research into Action? Toward a Pragmatic Conceptualization of Social Mechanisms in Retention Research and Practice--Ezekiel W. Kimball and Garrett H. Gowen

12: Shifting Environments, Emerging Norms: How Changes in Policy, Technology, Data, and Market Competition Affect College Enrollment Management Processes--P. Jesse Rine and Joshua T. Brown

13: Forging the Two-Way Practitioner-Researcher Loop for Enrollment Management: An Examination of the Research Communication for Needs of Enrollment Managers--Alexandra Wendt, John M. Braxton, Don Hossler, Wendy Kilgore, and Heather Zimar

14: How Theory and Research Inform State-Level Policy and Implications for Institutional Actions--Will Doyle

15: Charting Future Directions for Theory, Research, and Practice of College Student Persistence--John M. Braxton and Robert D. Reason

Editors and Contributors

Index

Robert D. Reason

Robert D. Reason is Professor of Student Affairs and Higher Education at Iowa State University. From 2003 to 2011, he was on the faculty in the College of Education at Penn State University, where he also held an appointment as Senior Research Associate in Penn State’s Center for the Study of Higher Education. His research has been published in The Journal of College Student Development, Research in Higher Education, and The Review of Higher Education. He currently serves as Associate Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs in the College of Human Sciences at Iowa State University.

John M. Braxton

John M. Braxton is Professor Emeritus, Higher Education, Education Leadership, and Policy Program, Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. He is also Senior Associate Editor, Innovative Higher Education, a Resident Scholar, Tennessee Independent College and University Association, an Affiliate Scholar, USC Center for Enrollment Research, Policy and Practice, and a co-Principal, Community College Practice-Research-Policy Exchange.

student retention; improving college student retention; retention for students of color; practice and research; college student persistence; engaging diverse students; studying student retention; retention research and practice; college enrollment; enrollment management