Upward Bound as a Model to Deter Attrition During the Freshmen Year in Postsecondary Institutions

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Title: Upward Bound as a Model to Deter Attrition During the Freshmen Year in Postsecondary Institutions
Author: Edmonds, Willie Fred
Advisors: Herbert Exum, Committee Chair
Abstract: Enrollment trends are on the rise, suggesting that high school graduates are still willing to seek a college degree (Gold, Neururer, & Miller, 2000). Unfortunately, about 50% of students who enter colleges or universities do not complete their degrees, and many do not graduate within a reasonable time (Beal & Noel, 1980; Gerald, 1992; Porter, 1990; Tinto, 1993). The freshman year often carries the highest rate of attrition, with most students dropping out in the first 6 weeks of matriculation because they do not adjust well to college life (Wilder, 1994). The goal of this qualitative study was to show that Upward Bound can serve as a model to deter attrition among freshmen in postsecondary institutions, particularly African-Americans, and few studies have been done on Upward Bound graduates who have attended or are attending college. Focus group interviews were conducted with 9 former Upward Bound students from the State of North Carolina who were enrolled at North Carolina State University in fall 2002. The conceptual framework of this study was adapted from Tinto's (1975) model of interactions between first-year students and the academic and social systems of the colleges in which they are enrolled. Relationships and interrelationships among variables that may contribute to persistence were examined, including family background, individual attributes, pre-college schooling, goal and institutional commitments, grade performance, intellectual development, peer group interactions, faculty interactions, academic integration, social integration, and dropout decision. The major finding was that the participants felt Upward Bound was important in helping them persist past their freshman year in college. Many of the constructs of Tinto's (1975) research were also supported by the findings in this study, in that the participants who successfully integrated into the academic and social systems at North Carolina State University persisted. The participants, despite many of them being first-generation students, had received the support and services they needed from the University and from Upward Bound that enabled them to remain in college.
Date: 2002-12-30
Degree: EdD
Discipline: Adult and Community College Education
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/5642

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