Persisting and Non-Persisting Adult Students: A Study of Attribution, Achievement and Classroom Environmental Perceptions
Date of Award
Dissertation - Restricted
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Adult students have returned to begin or complete their undergraduate programs in increasing numbers. Many of these students are working full- or part-time, have family responsibilities, and other life commitments that influence their participation in educational activities. This study sought to use achievement need, attribution, and perception of classroom environment to identify those students more likely to persist in their programs. The study used focus group interviews supplemented by quantitative measures to build a profile of the differences, if any, which exist between persisting and nonpersisting adult students. The results of this study showed no statistical differences between the two groups on the quantitative measures. Some differences were identified during the qualitative review in the areas of achievement need and perception of the classroom environment. While this study showed no significant differences, it did identify the impression that the factors which differentiate the two groups are minor, and therefore institutional attitude toward these students can be very important in retention efforts.