Fike et al. (2008) dealt with the problem of student retention in community colleges. The magnitude of the problem will be comprehended by the ACT (2007) recommendations that higher education institutions should concentrate on success of the students and work on the predictors of retention of students. It appears that the issues of achievement, attitude, and course completion are not taken seriously, since despite attempts, the average attrition rates in community colleges are 41% from the first to the second year, and only 34% of the remaining students persist in the course to complete a degree (Conway, 2010).
In order to find out the reasons why there is failure to retain students, especially in community colleges, the attitudes of the students have been found to be at fault. Studies conducted on students in community colleges have revealed that the goals of educational programs in community colleges are different from those in the university colleges. Aslanian (2001) indicated that the average age of the students in community colleges is higher than an average university student. Community colleges tend also to enroll underprepared students from low-income and low parental education families and often from ethnic minority backgrounds in part-time programs (Cohen and Brawer 1996). While these ensure ease of access and facilitates enrolment, this might be a major factor inhibiting desired retention. Thayer (2000) indicates that while first-generation students get enrolled to these community college programs with higher frequencies, they also tend to demonstrate higher attrition rates. Although the specific impacts of these factors on attitudes to complete the course and achieve education have not been studied, certain factors appear to be significantly contributing to this phenomenon. Age appears to be an important factor, since this indicates a large number of adult and returning students creating an opportunity for higher