Academic journal article Higher Learning Research Communications

Editorial

Academic journal article Higher Learning Research Communications

Editorial

Article excerpt

Retention and persistence are at the forefront of attention by students, parents, and state and federal lawmakers. We continue several decades of increasing education costs and the perception of steadily decreasing returns on investment of time and money required to achieve a higher education credential. Thus, a special issue devoted to retention is timely. Included in this special issue of the Higher Learning Research Communications journal are a number of thought pieces and literature reviews that represent diverse perspectives on retention.

Dr. Watson Scott Swail provides a provocative essay, A Different Viewpoint on Retention, in which he challenges readers to reflect on the key issues regarding retention of students. While he provides compelling statistics on the growing costs of getting a college degree, he reminds us that the core issue is one of student preparation. Dr. Swail also encourages institutions to determine what success means in its own context, through statistical analysis of predictors of retention and persistence whose results can be socialized at all who support students at the institution.

Dr. Gary Burkholder and Nicole Holland provide an international perspective on retention and persistence. Through introductory analysis of the state of retention and persistence research in areas outside the United States, they encourage readers to think about retention more globally. The authors ask the readers to consider how what we have learned about higher education, as well as retention and persistence, in the United States, can help researchers and practitioners to address higher education concerns in more meaningful and helpful ways. …

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