Date of Award

12-1977

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

First Advisor

Dr. Donald Weaver

Second Advisor

Dr. Stephen Mitchell

Third Advisor

Dr. Uldis Smidchens

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Kenneth Simon

Abstract

The purposes of this study were to delineate several dimensions of the attrition problem at the University of Guam, to identify factors which were potentially contributory to the attrition problem and to provide information which could be used as a basis for institutional direction and planning.

Two subproblems were addressed in the study. The first subproblem was to develop a student profile, both academic and demographic, of those who withdrew and those who persisted. The second subproblem was to obtain and evaluate student views on attrition.

Two hypotheses were posited. The first hypothesis was that students who left the University and those who persisted had different academic and demographic profiles. The second hypothesis was that attritors and persisters held different views and reasons for attriting and persisting in college.

Data were obtained by use of the interview method. Included in the research population were all new, non-transfer freshmen at the University of Guam during the years 1971 through 1975. A seven percent stratified random sample was drawn for interview.

The following conclusions were drawn: (1) The attritors and persistons were quite different from one another in their profiles and in their perceptions regarding college. Persisting students had better grades from high schools and during college, and had smaller families and less number of family members in college. They were more stable in their marital status and were generally the recipients of some financial aid. Their parents had more college education. (2) The attritors cited institutional flaws as foremost reasons for leaving the University. Such reasons included inadequate student services, inadequate curriculum, too much freedom, and degree of contact with faculty. The second major reasons reported were economic in nature. These reasons related to finding jobs to pay for college expenses, meeting college cost, and finding jobs to help meet personal expenses. (3) Persistons reported as most important to persistence such factors as perception of self, personal commitment, and character of the institution.

Recommendations for increasing persistence at the University of Guam include continuous monitoring and investigation of attrition, improvements in student personnel services, first semester orientation programs, examination of the freshman curriculum and increased student-facuity contact.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

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