Determinants of retention among Chicano college students : a structural model



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This study tested a model of student attrition on a Chicano two-year college student population. Background characteristics were examined to determine the direct effect and indirect effects (through intervening variables) these factors had on minority retention rates and the direct and indirect effects of in stitutional/goal commitments, academic integration and social integration on minority retention rates. The theoretical model applied in this study was based on Tinto's (1975) student attrition model. Structural equation modeling and LISREL VI (Joreskog & Sorbom, 1984) were used to examine the parameter estimates of the structural and measurement models of the hypothesized causal model. Measures of goodness of fit were examined to provide indices for the overall fit of the causal model in the study. The measurement and structural model were found to represent a plausible causal model of student retention among Chicano students. Although the measures used in assessing the fit of the model reflected the overall strength of the hypothesized model, the present study was not entirely supportive of Tinto's model. The findings were only minimally supportive of the hypothesized relationship between measures of academic integration and retention; however, the results indicated that the hypothesized relationship between measures of social integration could not be substantiated. Moreover, measures of initial commitments were found to have a significantly large direct effect on the dependent variable, retention. Students who entered their community colleges with higher levels of institutional and goal commitments had earned more semester hours, were more satisfied with their present educational attainment, and had earned some form of credential at the end of the four years in the study. Likewise, students with higher levels of initial commitments became more integrated socially and academically into their institutions. Initial in stitutional/goal commitments were found to be more significant than was academic or social integration in determining Chicano student retention rates.



Mexican Americans--Education (Higher), College dropouts