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dc.contributor.advisor Pike, Gary R. Graunke, Steven Scott 2018-09-20T13:18:05Z 2018-09-20T13:18:05Z 2018-08
dc.description Thesis (Ed.D.) - Indiana University, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, 2018 en
dc.description.abstract The purpose of the following study is to expand the existing literature of student-institution fit and retention by including factors related to socio-economic status (SES) and nontraditional student status in a model that measured actual student retention at a large, primarily nonresidential urban university. Specifically, this study explores the effect of student-institution fit on fall-to-fall retention when accounting for other factors associated with student success. Research has shown that students with a large number of external commitments are at risk for leaving college before completing their degree (Horn & Carroll, 1996). Likewise, students from low SES backgrounds have also been at risk of not completing their degree due to an inability to pay, inadequate support networks, or an inability to cover the expense of basic needs (Cabrera, Stampen, and Hansen, 1990, Terenzini, Cabrera, and Bernal, 2001, Chaplot, Cooper, Johnston, and Karandjeff, 2015). Bowman and Denson (2014) and Denson and Bownman (2015) introduced two student-institution fit instruments that the authors claim could be used to identify students who might be at risk of leaving their institution. Similarly, Gilbreath, Kim and Nichols (2011) claim that a student-institution fit instrument could be used to identify students who are likely to find fit and thus persist at an institution. However, to date there has not been an exploration of the relationship between student-institution fit and retention net the effect of nontraditional student characteristics or low SES. A total of 351 new beginners and transfers at IUPUI completed a survey which included the Gilbreath et al. (2011) student-institution fit instrument. A confirmatory factor analysis revealed that the model fit data obtained from the IUPUI sample following some modifications. However, Cronbach’s alpha levels for two of the three fit subscales were low, providing questionable evidence of the internal consistency of these scales. Three separate path analyses were then conducted to determine the effect of student-institution fit on fall-to-fall retention net the effect of nontraditional student characteristics and low SES. The results of these analyses showed that Social Environment fit had a significant effect on fall-to-fall retention when the number of nontraditional student characteristics were included in the model. However, the effect was no longer significant once receipt of a Pell grant and unmet financial need were included. These results highlight a need to continue to develop student-institution fit instruments to better assess Academic Environment fit and Physical Environment fit. The results also bring into question the use of student-institution fit instruments as a tool to identify students at risk for departure. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher [Bloomington, Ind.] : Indiana University en
dc.subject retention en
dc.subject student-institution fit en
dc.subject nontraditional students en
dc.subject socio-economic status en
dc.title Student-Institution Fit, External Commitments, and Persistence en
dc.type Doctoral Dissertation en

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