Towards Understanding the Negotiation and Decision-Making Process of Withdrawal from College: A Qualitative Approach
AuthorIrwin, Mary A.
AdvisorLee, Jenny J.
Committee ChairLee, Jenny J.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis qualitative research project focused on the interviews of 27 low socio-economic students at a research university in the southwestern United States. The students had already withdrawn from the university or were in the process of withdrawing. The study seeks to provide increased understanding of how students negotiate the decision-making process to withdraw from the first university they attended after high school. The theoretical lenses of student departure theories (Astin, 1993; Bean, 1983; Tierney, 1992; and Tinto, 1993) and decision-making theories (Becker, 1976; Frank, 1987; Kahneman, 2003; March, 1994; Scott, 2000) were combined. The Decision-Making Process Model of Student Departure is offered as a new theoretical framework that combines decision-making theories and student retention theories. This conceptualization is unlike other student departure models because it includes the proposition that forces push at the student from within the institution and forces pull them from outside the institution. In addition, it is different from other student departure models because it includes the discussion about how students think about their process to withdraw - it is not meant to describe their behaviors. Financial, academic and psychological stresses (from both within and outside the institution) influenced how the students negotiated the decision-making process to leave the institution. The students did not seek out institutional agents (advisors or faculty members) for advice when they were struggling academically. They developed their own strategies or went to their family members for advice, many of whom had never been to college.
Degree ProgramHigher Education