Date of this Version
The Review of Higher Education, Spring 2017, Volume 40, No. 3, pp. 353–390. doi:10.1353/rhe.2017.0012
Persistence of community college students is a serious and perennial concern with numerous published figures illustrating the daunting odds that students and institutions face along their path to college completion (Calcagno, Crosta, Bailey, & Jenkins, 2007; Provasnik & Planty, 2008). Although researchers have made headway in identifying influential factors in students’ successful persistence along that path, evidence suggests that attrition in community colleges can begin to occur within the first term and even between enrollment and the first day of class (Bailey, 2009; Bailey, Jeong, & Cho, 2010; Brooks-Leonard, 1991). While some researchers have explored the critical role of the early weeks of college experiences in student success (Astin, 1993; Tinto, 1988; Woosley, 2003; Woosley & Miller, 2009), studies specific to retention and persistence regarding this timeframe remain scarce, especially in the two-year college sector where 4 out of 10 new college students enroll (American Association of Community Colleges, 2015) and where student persistence issues are qualitatively different from the four-year sector (M. W. Webb, 1989). Thus, the purpose of this study is to understand how different kinds of advising activities during the first three weeks for community college students who enroll for the first time relate to their intentions to re-enroll.