Academic Scholarship

Institutional characteristics and college student dropout risks: A multilevel event history analysis

Research in Higher Education, 53(5), 487-505, October 2011

Research in Higher Education Journal Rong Chen, Ph.D.
Department of Education Leadership, Management and Policy

In the past two decades, although access to higher education for American students has improved, student persistence in four-year institutions is far from assured. There have been a number of research studies on student persistence/dropout in higher education, but most have focused on the characteristics and behavior of students as illustrated by the “student-centered research tradition”.

This study focuses on what institutional characteristics contribute to conditions that reduce student dropout risks. By analyzing longitudinal and hierarchical data, this research proposes and tests a multilevel event history model that identifies the major institutional attributes related to student dropout risk in a longitudinal process. Evidence indicates that institutional expenditure on student services is negatively associated with student dropout behavior. Implications of the results for institutional practices and future research are discussed.


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