Format of Original
Michigan Counseling Association
Michigan Journal of Counseling and Development
The purpose of this study was to determine the reasons why students withdrew during a semester from a mid-sized, comprehensive university located in the Midwest. Six hundred forty-five students were asked to complete the ACT "Withdrawing/Non-returning Student Survey" during the 1992-93 academic year and summer semester. Three hundred sixty-five completed surveys were returned for a 57% response rate.
Respondents indicated many different reasons for leaving which varied by year in school and whether or not the respondent was a graduate or undergraduate student. There was no typical withdrawing student and there were many reasons students withdrew over which the university has little or no control. The report concludes with a discussion of Vincent Tinto's (1993) ideas concerning institutional departure.
The retention and persistence of students in higher education has been the focus of serious intellectual inquiry for many years. Various concepts of institutional departure, persistence and models for programmatic interventions to reduce departure have been developed. (For example, see Pascarella & Terenzini, 1991; Stage & Rushin, 1993; Steele, Kennedy, & Gordon, 1993; Tinto, 1993; Wolfe, 1993.) The purpose of this study was to focus on one aspect of student attrition, and. to investigate the reasons and general trends as . to why students withdrew during a semester from a midsized comprehensive university located in the Midwest. This information could then be used to guide institutional action.