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Conceptual Theoretical Frameworks - Dissertation Example

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The two conceptual theoretical frameworks that will be considered in this section are the nontraditional undergraduate student attrition conceptual model and the community college retention model (Terenzini, 1987). …
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Conceptual Theoretical Frameworks
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Conceptual Theoretical Frameworks

These factors can be broadly classified as curricular, institutional, political as well as economic, and social ones. Besides these listed factors, some of the factors that led to the increase in the number of nontraditional students are the existence of evening and weekend programs and even the existence of various courses that were taught in central locations and shopping malls. The political forces that emerged from the victory during the era of the World War II further facilitated the enrollment growth. The term nontraditional students refer to any learner in an institution of higher learning that hails from any part of the country that is from either urban or rural areas and the learner can be of any race and can be of any social state. According to Stewart and Rue (1983), nontraditional student can be defined as any learner who happens to be 25 years old or even more. However, this definition has been disputed by other authors and the reason for the dispute is the fact that the use of age is not satisfactory for the determination of the term nontraditional. Traditional students, on the other hand, can be referred to as learners that fall within an age bracket of 18 and 24 years and are attending college full time as well as residing in colleges. The difference between nontraditional and traditional students can, therefore, lie in the age, college attendance, and their residence. Structure of the Conceptual Model The conceptual model proposed by Bean and Metzner (1985) indicates that decisions involving dropouts basically rely on four variables, and these variables are background and defining variables, academic variables, environmental variables, and an intention to persist variable. Background and defining variables primarily concern various educational goals and the performance from high schools. Academic variables concern the performance, and the students with a low performance are expected to drop out of school at a higher rate compared to the students with a higher performance. The third variable is environmental, and these variables are concerned with direct effects on the various decisions of dropping out of school (Tinto, 1975). Finally, the fourth variable is the intent to persist variable; and this variable is primarily affected by various psychological outcomes as well as various academic variables. The various variables are related through direct and indirect effects though the indirect effects can be easily calculated and testing of the resultant statistical significance brought about by these effects can be carried out. In the model, the various paths can be estimated using common convention that is capable of calculating both indirect and direct effects for each variable, which is independent, and the result is the greatest effect that is the sum of indirect and direct effects. A larger proportion of undergraduate student population is composed of commuter students, and the trends in the enrollment of these commuter students are expected to increase because of the decrease in the number of the traditional age. The rate of attrition of nontraditional students is high, and commuter students generally take up the gaps left by these students. Community Retention Model According to Stahl and Pavel (1992), the community retention model had a lot of emphasis on two-year college nontraditional students, and the aspects of social integration were eliminated, and this elimination was due to the construct for two-year college nontraditional student decision persistence. The model has four variables, a ... Read More
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