Causes and differences in retention of white, African American, and Hispanic students who progressed toward graduation after first year in college.
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Matthews, Kenneth, 1958-
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African American and Hispanic students' retention rates in college have revealed that minority students are much more likely than white students to drop out of college. Additionally, minority students' graduation rates remain at a lower percentage rate than white students. The reason African American and Hispanic students are not equally represented on college campuses and experiencing similar retention rates as white students concerns many colleges and universities. Given these problems, this study focused on finding reasons why some African American and Hispanic students remain in college beyond their freshmen year. Examining the reasons why college students continue beyond their freshmen year will provide answers as to how universities can improve the retention rate of all ethnicities. The researcher used Dr. Pascarella and Dr. Terenzini's model as the primary theoretical framework lens for analyzing and interpreting data. Additionally, qualitative methods were used to measure such controlled variables as gender, ethnicity, and various colleges. The findings revealed differences in social and academic integration scale factors by gender, ethnicity, and various institutions of higher education that influenced college students to continue beyond their freshmen year. Furthermore, results revealed African American and Hispanic students require peer group interaction, institutional/goal commitment, and academic and intellectual development to increase their retention rate beyond their freshmen year of college. Universities stand to increase their knowledge base of how to increase the retention rate for minorities from this research. Institutions that focus attention on these findings can create a higher graduation rate. Improving minority student's retention until degree completion benefits all stakeholders.