Should I Stay or Should I Go: Student Retention and Success

By Lesley Ljungdahl.

Published by The International Journal of Learner Diversity and Identities

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: May 20, 2014 $US5.00

The first year experience is particularly important as students adjust to the transition to university. Preparation for university study may be lacking and their expectations unrealistic about the nature of tertiary studies. Financial problems may be the trigger to leave and this is dispiriting for students who realize they have the intellectual capacity to succeed and to enter the professional sector. Increasing learner diversity has implications for universities as students from different ethnic backgrounds, socio-economic status, and gender adjust to tertiary study. Reasons for attrition and retention are multidimensional and the current study shows how issues are interrelated, pointing students towards a decision to stay or go. Various barriers to success contribute to high attrition and participation of these students. Universities may offer academic support, mentoring programs, and centrally organised services support to assist student retention and success. While decisions about whether to leave a course are affected by many variables, the urge to stay may be very strong. Assistance can be given to these students by orientation programs, embedding strategies into the course content and providing services can contribute to success and retention.

Keywords: The Freshman Year, Diversity, Higher Education

International Journal of Learner Diversity and Identities, Volume 20, Issue 3, May 2014, pp.11-23. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: May 20, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 423.667KB)).

Dr. Lesley Ljungdahl

Bachelor of Education Course Coordinator & Senior Lecturer, Department of Learning Cultures and Practices, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Technology, Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Dr Ljungdahl is the Coordinator of the Bachelor of Education at the University of Technology, Sydney. Her main areas of interest are in learner diversity, literacy/learning related issues and the needs of students from a background other than English.She has regularly participated in overseas practicums in Kunming in the People's Republic of China and Apia in Western Samoa. Lesley is a past-president of ATESOL (NSW), the Association for Teachers of English as a Second or Other Languages. She is a contributing author to Literacy: Reading, writing and children's literature (4th ed.), Oxford University Press.