22 SES 03 A, Drop-outs and Delayed Completion
This contribution develops a topic of high interest, as the university dropout. Research on university dropout is extensive. Proof of this is the repository developed by the Center for the Study of College Student Retention, where more than 1400 references are available. There are also journals in this area, such as the Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory and Practice and Journal of College Student Development. In addition, the European Journal of Education (2014, 49, 4) dedicated a special issue to dropout from university. Undoubtedly, it is an international problem that universities are facing.
The causes of dropout are diverse : involuntary (due to administrative breach or failure to comply with regulations), because of previous poor training, low self-esteem, inadequate choice of studies, deficiencies in the quality of teaching, deficits in student learning potential and other circumstantial factors (as financial, compatibility with an occupation, change of address, health problems, family obligations, etc.). Sometimes studies are left to initiate others in the same institution or in another institution; leave university and go to another to complete initiated studies; give up university education to start training routes outside university or join the workforce; disrupt the formation with the intent to return in the future, especially (Corominas, 2001; Rickinson and Rutherford, 1996).
University dropout consequences are both personal, institutional and social (Vossensteyn et al, 2015). Failure and dropout rates are a problem of enormous significance, because of the large number of people affected and the negative effect it has on the institution itself, in addition to the important material cost involved, is mainly a personal problem (Assiter and Gibbs, 2007). From all this, is evident the need to establish university policies that make possible reducing the rate of university dropout.
It has been demonstrated that the university dropout relies heavily on the transition university experience, the first year in university is a key moment (Tinto, 1975, 2010; Braxton, Milem and Sullivan, 2000; Murtaugh, Burns and Schuster, 1999; Yorke, 1999; Wisker et al., 2008). The starter period in university includes the transition covering the preceding year and the next year. Therefore, it is considered that the university transition is completed the first year. Furthermore, in some cases often coincides with other life transitions of great complexity as the end of adolescence and tension involved for the student's autonomy about higher education as a different period (Johnston, 2010). Then, transition to university is a complex event, in the words of Cooke et al (2006, 514) “time of heightened anxiety”. During this period, students move from school to shelter the impersonality of a large institution such as the university. Moreover, the logic of change and different conception of education causes students to not have clear expectations regarding the scope and content of university education.
Assiter, A., & Gibbs, G. R. (2007). Student retention and motivation. European Political Science, 6(1), 79-93. Braxton, J., Milem, J.F. & Sullivan, A. (2000). The influence of active learning on the college student departure process: Toward a revision of Tinto's theory. The Journal of Higher Education, 71 (5), 569-590. Cooke, R. et al. (2006). Measuring, monitoring and managing the psychological well-being of first year university students. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 34, 505-517. Corominas, E. (2001). La transición a los estudios universitarios. Abandono o cambio en el primer año de universidad. Revista de Investigación Educativa, 19 (1), 127-151. Jackson, C. (2003). Transitions into Higher Education: gendered implications for academic self-concept. Oxford Review of Education, 29(3), 331-346. Johnston, B. (2010). The First Year at University: Teaching Students in Transition. Glasgow: Open University Press-Mc Graw Hill. Trad. Español. 2013. El primer año de Universidad. Una experiencia positiva de transición. Madrid. Narcea Murtaugh, P. A., Burns, L. D. & Schuster, J. (1999). Predicting the retention of university students. Research in Higher Education, 40 (3), 355-371. Rickinson, B. & Rutherford, D. (1995). Increasing undergraduate retention rates. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 23(2), 161-172. Rickinson, B. & Rutherford, D. (1996). Systematic monitoring of the adjustment to university of undergraduates: a strategy for reducing withdrawal rates. British Journal of Guidance and Counseling, 24 (2), 213-225. Ryan, M. P. & Glenn, P. A. (2003). Increasing one-year retention rates by focusing on academic competence: An empirical odyssey. Journal of College Student Retention, 4 (3), 297-324. Tinto, V. (2010). From theory to action: Exploring the institutional conditions for student retention, pp. 51-89. In Smart, J. C. Higher education: Handbook of theory and research. Netherlands: Springer. Tinto, V. (1975). Dropout from higher education: A theoretical synthesis of recent research. Review of Educational Research, 45, 89-125. Vossensteyn, H. et al (2015). Dropout and completion in higher education in Europe. Project Report. EU. Commission. Wisker, G., Exley, K., Antoniou, M. & Ridley, P. (2008). Working one-to-one with students. Supervising, coaching, mentoring and personal tutoring. New York and London: Routledge. Yorke, M. (1999). Leaving early: Undergraduate non-completion in higher education. London: Falmer Press.
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