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Mobility, Time to Degree, and Institutional Practices: Towards a New Conceptual Model of Undergraduate Retention for Underrepresented Students Lucy Arellano,

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Presentation on theme: "Mobility, Time to Degree, and Institutional Practices: Towards a New Conceptual Model of Undergraduate Retention for Underrepresented Students Lucy Arellano,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Mobility, Time to Degree, and Institutional Practices: Towards a New Conceptual Model of Undergraduate Retention for Underrepresented Students Lucy Arellano, Chelsea Guillermo-Wann, Sylvia Hurtado, Luz Colin American Educational Research Association Annual Conference Denver, Colorado Monday, May 3, 2010

2 Retention, Mobility, and Time to Degree Page 2 Introduction Institutional Retention Practices Enrollment Mobility Patterns Undergraduate Time-to-Degree This paper presents a new conceptual model by: Re-conceptualizing retention from within-institution to within-system (of higher education) This paper aims to address the following concepts:

3 Retention, Mobility, and Time to Degree Page 3 Retention Sets of interchangeably used terms (but different): -Retention, attrition, persistence -Time-to-degree, degree completion, degree attainment -Swirling, double-dipping, mobility One of the most studied topics in higher education

4 Retention, Mobility, and Time to Degree Page 4 Retention Early frameworks are not applicable to todays changing student demographics (e.g. Spady, Tinto, Bean) Call to expand beyond traditional students (Rendon et al., 2000) New frameworks (Nora, Barlow & Crisp, 2005) (Crisp & Nora, 2010)

5 Retention, Mobility, and Time to Degree Page 5 Retention Practices Campus culture Institutional mission Faculty interaction Institutional expenditures -Student services -Academic support programs Local level (campus) institutional practices Influence on students: -Institutional commitment -Social integration -Academic integration -Intellectual growth

6 Retention, Mobility, and Time to Degree Page 6 Retention Practices National-level practices Financial aid policy Standardized assessments Evidence-based accountability Benchmarks: -Retention program coordination -Research and assessment -Orientation programs -Early warning practices -Faculty-student interaction -Advising practices State-level initiatives Articulation agreements Core curricula Common course numbering Financial aid policy

7 Retention, Mobility, and Time to Degree Page 7 Enrollment Mobility Patterns (see Table 1) Challenge to be addressed in 21st century Students of color, low-income, and academically underprepared students more likely to engage in enrollment mobility that extends time to degree Goal: Graduate those who have accessed the system Key influences on type of mobility: SES, academic preparation and previous achievement, race and ethnicity, social integration

8 Retention, Mobility, and Time to Degree Page 8 Time-to-Degree Almost half of all first-time freshmen begin in 2-yr colleges; less earn bachelors than 4-yr starters One third of students entering 4-yr institutions at a traditional age graduate in four years Literature that considers time to degree beyond a 4- 6 year completion rate is lacking Literature is incomplete regarding factors that contribute to longer time to degree for first generation, low-income, and students of color

9 Retention, Mobility, and Time to Degree Page 9 Time-to-Degree Contributing Factors Demographics and Academic Preparation -Lack of equity in educational outcomes across groups -High test scores (SAT/ACT) and GPA influence timely completion Financial Aid and Policy -Students receiving grants and campus-based work study take less time to graduate -Units enrolled Student Transitions -Transition to major: critical hurdle Enrollment Mobility

10 Retention, Mobility, and Time to Degree Page 10 Time-to-Degree Practices to decrease time to degree mirror those of strengthening retention Local (Campus) Initiatives -Student transitions -Organizational culture -Faculty involvement -Implement longitudinal assessment -Support services Higher Education (System) Practices -Student-centered education -Articulation policies & inter-institutional efforts at all levels

11 Retention, Mobility, and Time to Degree Page 11 Toward a New Conceptual Framework (see Figure 1) Path A: Traditional Trajectory at a Single Institution Path B: Unidirectional Transfer Path C: Concurrent Enrollment Path D: Primarily Enrolled, Secondary Classes Path E: Stopping Out at Any Point Paths are not all mutually exclusive

12 Retention, Mobility, and Time to Degree Page 12 Implications Campus/Institutional Practices -Create collaborative relationships with surrounding institutions (high schools, 2-yr, 4-yr institutions) -Understand student needs/goals to maximize achievement Policy -Create initiatives that help students complete their degree -Account for student mobility, especially in financial aid Research -Expand the definitions of a successful college trajectory beyond a 4-yr graduation rate at a single institution -Bring together the different facets of the student experience to best understand their trajectory

13 Retention, Mobility, and Time to Degree Page 13 Conclusion Students exhibit multiple types of mobility across institutions within a system that currently does not have the capacity to facilitate smooth transitions We need to shift our focus from within-institution retention to system-wide degree attainment The goal should be to establish a community of learning across sectors and institutional boundaries -Building an effective transportation system -Particularly crucial for first-generation, low-income and underrepresented groups Future directions -Consider this framework under a systems theory lens

14 Retention, Mobility, and Time to Degree Page 14 Mobility, Time to Degree, and Institutional Practices: Towards a New Conceptual Model of Undergraduate Retention for Underrepresented Students Lucy Arellano, Research Analyst, UCLA Chelsea Guillermo-Wann, Research Analyst, UCLA Sylvia Hurtado, Professor, UCLA Luz Colin, Consultant, The INNOVA Group Inc.


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