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College Student Retention


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Table of Contents

Introduction Chapter 1: Past to Present: A Historical Look at Retention Joseph B. Berger, Geraldo Blanco Ramirez, and Susan Lyons Chapter 2: Measurements of Persistence Thomas G. Mortenson Chapter 3: Retention Theories, Models and Concepts Lonnie Morrison, Loretta Silverman Chapter 4: How to Define Retention: A New Look at an Old Problem Linda Serra Hagedorn Chapter 5: Finances and Retention: Trends and Inplications John H. Schuh and Ann Gansemer-Topf Chapter 6: Pre-College and Institutional Influences on Degree Attainment Alexander W. Astin and Leticia Oseguera Chapter 7: The Community College: Retention Trends and Issues Gloria Crisp and Liliana Mina Chapter 8: Pathways to a Four-Year Degree: Determinants of Transfer and Degree Completion among Socioeconomically Disadvantaged Students Alberto F. Cabrera, Kurt R. Burkum, Steven M. LaNasa, and Erin W. Bibo Chapter 9: Online Student Retention Daniel W. Salter Chapter 10: Student Persistence and Degree Attainment Beyond the First Year in College: Existing Knowledge and Directions for Future Research Amaury Nora and Gloria Crisp Chapter 11: Moving From Theory to Action: A Model of Institutional Action for Student Success Vincent Tinto Chapter 12: Taking Action: A Formula and Model for Student Success Alan Seidman

About the Author

Alan Seidman is a faculty member and the General & Self-Designed Specialization Coordinator with the Richard W. Riley College of Educational & Leadership at Walden University, Minnesota. In addition, he is Executive Director of the Center for the Study of College Student Retention (


The ever-more challenging economics and politics of higher education have elevated the complex issues of college retention and persistence, making this second edition of Seidman's 2005 classic volume especially timely. The chapter authors are first-rate scholars, with most of the chapters thoroughly updated and with important additions, such as the special circumstances of community colleges and the effect of technology and on-line learning on retention and persistence. This is a must-read reference for students, scholars, and (one can only hope)policy-makers contending with the immensely difficult challenge of improving institutional retention and student persistence for the sake both of our economy and of those students we are currently losing. -- D. Bruce Johnstone, professor of higher and comparative education emeritus, The University at Buffalo; former chancellor, SUNY system
As a college president for forty-five years, I agonize over the issues of admission and retention since both impact so directly on finances and upon the ability of our higher education institutions to function effectively. This group of diverse specialists, under the lead editorship of Alan Seidman, has put together a master work on the subject of retention - from defining and measuring it, to determining its past history and future promise. It goes beyond the theories, so well-worn, to projected actions in policies, programs, and practices that institutions can adopt and which help students - and therefore colleges - succeed. -- Joseph N. Hankin, president, Westchester Community College
For college and university administrators and faculty to successfully address their student retention challenges, they need to place their efforts in contexts beyond their specific institution. Seidman and colleagues, in a single text, provide a valuable historical, definitional, theoretical, empirical, financial, and practical context for framing retention strategy. -- David Kalsbeek, senior vice president, enrollment marketing and management, DePaul University

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