The retention dilemma: Effectively reaching the first-year university student
Student success results from positive learning environments which strive to meet the basic psychological needs of students, foster self-determined forms of motivation, and cultivate learning outcomes such as knowledge transfer, meta-cognition, and engagement. Low first-year student retention rates lead many universities to assess factors associated with student success. By surveying the needs, interests, and goals of 390 first-year students at Missouri State University, we proposed and tested a conceptual model using group differences and structural equation modeling. Results supported our general hypothesis that certain antecedents (e.g., expectations, teachers' influences) and motivational processes can lead to enhanced learning outcomes. Results suggested that autonomy supportive environments allow the basic need for perceived competence to more successfully impact self-determined forms of motivation. Suggestions are made for institutions to focus on creating positive, autonomy supportive learning environments in which to improve student satisfaction and success and therefore lead to better first-year student retention.
Copeland, Kelly J., and Chantal Levesque-Bristol. "The retention dilemma: Effectively reaching the first-year university student." Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice 12, no. 4 (2011): 485-515.
Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory and Practice