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Investigating First Year College Student Locus of Control in Relation to Retention: An Explanatory Mixed Methods Study
Institutions of higher education place a high priority on retaining students. With orientation programming, tutoring, learning communities, peer mentoring, and other efforts, institutions dedicate the resources necessary to increase the academic success of their students because academic success has a positive relationship with retention. Through these efforts, institutions seek a return on their investment. The direct impact that retention has on revenue is clear; when students are retained they pay more tuition. In addition, retention has a clear benefit to students through furthering their personal development and enhancing their career possibilities. In short, retention is important so there is value in understanding factors that could potentially impact retention. One such factor is locus of control. While there has not been a great deal of research on the relationship between locus of control and retention, there have been studies that link an internal locus of control to academic success. If a student with an internal locus of control is more likely to be academically successful, and students who are academically successful are more likely to be retained, then one might infer that students with an internal locus of control are more likely to be retained. The following mixed methods explanatory designed study examined the possible relationship between locus of control and retention from a student’s first to second semester. The quantitative phase of the study found that there was not a statistically significant difference in the way retained students responded to the Academic Locus of Control Scale for College Students, and the way students who were not retained responded. Information gathered in qualitative interviews with retained students describes how students’ locus of control impacted their experiences and their decision to return for a second semester.
Higher Education Administration|Education|Higher education
Estes, Aaron, "Investigating First Year College Student Locus of Control in Relation to Retention: An Explanatory Mixed Methods Study" (2017). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI10681051.