Trends in college student retention : identification of latent student classes with relation to retention statistics.
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Neumann, Alexis (Alexis Leigh)
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College student retention has been studied in depth at both 4-year and 2-year institutions, but not at technical colleges. Institutions of higher education continue to struggle with early identification and intervention strategies to aid in student retention. Technical Colleges are not an exception to this challenge. To aid in the early identification of at-risk students and practical application of possible intervention techniques, the present study uses latent class analysis to identify student profiles through the use of College Student Inventory composite scores. The classes were then compared to retention status one year following the first semester of enrollment. Results support a thirteen class model that relates significantly to retention overall but limitations of the study limited detailed analysis of class specific characteristics related to retention. The ability to identify, and target, homogeneous groups of students will enable practitioners focused on college student success to target intervention strategies according to the characteristics of a single class, or profile, of students. This ability will make retention efforts more effective and efficient, thus more likely to be implemented at institutions of higher education.