Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Emotionality, rationality, social class, and student retention on campus

Will Barratt, Ph.D.

How much of student retention on campus, students choosing to continue enrollment semester to semester and year to year, is an emotional choice and how much is a rational choice?

Do different students, Louise and Larry from the campus lower / minority class contrasted with Misty and Markey from the campus middle / majority class, have different emotional / rational ratios?

Do campus structural and organizational processes offset negative feelings?

What are the emotional reasons that help students to stay?  

Can we give any student an emotional reason to stay?

I am seeking comments and input here.  Yes, I know that this is a US biased question and discussion, and if you have an international perspective please share it. 



Tweet or Facebook this question with a link and add a comment here please. 


Will Barratt, Ph.D. said...

Comments through Facebook

Michael: With the students who come into my office I see the emotional side. Students who are having family issues etc..., but I also see great numbers of students who have given up after being discouraged. They could be discouraged academically or financially. In education we have to help build students mental toughness, and help instill a will to compete, goal setting, and the will to win. Mental toughness is taught in athletics, but not enough of a premium of mental toughness in the classroom. I believe the stronger students are mentally it will help in the issue of retention.

Ron: The best we can do is to positively influence their confidence levels. The rest is up to the student to want to succeed and to finish something they started.

Lennon: I've always had more of a "Mr. Spock" approach. I don't have to have a particular emotion about something to learn it. It DOES help if I find it interesting, but not absolutely necessary. Perhaps having the discipline to commit to things I don't particularly like is my military background coming out, but still, yours is a very subjective question.

Will Barratt, Ph.D. said...

Jane: Thesis from a student this year- tremendous amount of retention is related to making good friends, as defined by you can call them at 2AM.