Female-nontraditional undergraduate students: An alternative persistence model
AuthorKilgore, Wendy Ann
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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.
AbstractFemale-nontraditional undergraduate students do not fit well within traditional student persistence models. This limits our ability to address persistence issues and likely contributes to the fact that non-traditional students are more than twice its likely to leave school in their first year. This research created a persistence model designed to more accurately reflect predictor variables associated with this population. It also measured the contribution to explained variance in a persistence model incorporating a new consistent-identity variable. This variable was built upon Gilligan's (1982) theory of moral development for women. Student retention theory, moral development theory and existing conceptual persistence models served as the foundation for this research. The results of this research indicate the strong impact of factors external to the institution on persistence for this sample of female-nontraditional undergraduates. A student's level of outside encouragement, head of household designation, and consistency of identity played important roles in persistence within this sample population. For this sample, a student's consistency of identity was strongly related to persistence. Women who presented a set way of interacting in interpersonal relationships were more likely to graduate than women who had no clear pattern in their interpersonal relationship interactions. An implication of the results is that institutions may need to examine possible methods of accommodating or counteracting factors external to the institution to increase student persistence among this population.
Degree ProgramGraduate College