Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
This baseline study was designed to better understand non-withdrawing student leavers. An exploratory research design was utilized which consisted of pilot interviews and a survey. The pilot interviews in this study consisted of five on-campus Fall 2005 undergraduate student leavers. Leaver insight from the pilot interviews served as the foundation for the student leaver satisfaction survey. The student leaver satisfaction survey was administered to Fall 2005 non-withdrawing student leavers. Additionally, National Student Clearinghouse Student Tracker enrollment information was reviewed to determine whether the leaver respondents continued their education. A total of 30 non-withdrawing leavers provided insight of the reasons why they left the university. The average respondent was a traditionally aged (under 25 years old) White student leaver. Most of the leavers self-reported good grades during the Fall 2005 semester. Undergraduate students graduating in Fall 2005 served as a comparison group in this study. Sixty-three graduates responded to the survey. Both the leaver and graduate responses were analyzed. The results indicated that non-withdrawing leavers most often left due to employment reasons, attending another institution, and wanting to be closer to family. A Chi-Square analysis was employed for both leavers and graduates based on survey information related to university involvement. The Chi-Square analysis revealed that leavers were significantly less likely to be involved in university activities compared to graduates. Another finding in this study was that many of the leavers continued their education and some even graduated. Further, a majority of the student leavers in this study had not been contacted by university officials since leaving the institution. Recommendations were given to higher education practitioners for tracking and communicating with this leaver group.
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