Department of Kinesiology Faculty Research and Publications


Student Characteristics and Activity Choices of College Freshmen and Their Intent to Persist in Religiously Affiliated Institutions

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Christian Higher Education

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Persistence and retention have been studied extensively in higher education, but little research has been conducted on these areas in religiously affiliated institutions. The present study was designed to examine factors that influence the intentions of students to persist from their freshmen to sophomore year in private, religiously affiliated, four-year institutions. The variables selected for the study were derived from constructs including student characteristics, institutional classification, and activity choices of college freshmen. This cross-sectional study analyzed data obtained from the 27 religiously affiliated institutions that participated in the 2003 Your First College Year survey (YFCY) administered by the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) at UCLA. The conceptual framework for the study was based on the research of Astin (1978) and Tinto (1987), which shares one common thread: social integration. Both scholars state that social integration is critical in determining whether students decide to stay or leave an institution. In general, the findings of this study agree with Astin (1978) and Tinto (1987) by showing that freshmen students who developed close relationships in college, who allowed their social activities to interfere with their schoolwork, and who reported higher GPAs, were more likely to intend to persist to their sophomore year. Other variables found to be significant with increased persistence were: male gender, attendance at religious services, attended classes/labs, lived off campus, joined a fraternity/sorority, and had higher levels of faculty/student interaction. (Contains 3 tables and 2 figures.)

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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