State College Retention and Completion Incentives: Student Perceptions
Thomas D. Cox

In the United States, most students who enroll into a community college will not complete an academic program or graduate with a credential. A recent trend in state legislative bodies has been to hold public higher education institutions accountable for student performance through the development of institutional performance funding models. The Florida College System (FCS) adopted such a funding model in 2014, placing an emphasis on student retention and graduation rates. In reaction, initiatives have been implemented at the 28 member institutions of the FCS to promote elevated student course loads to help drive higher completion rates. The concern is determining how effective these strategies are at attracting students to continue enrolling in courses and ultimately completing a degree. The purpose of this study was to determine the perception of enrolled students at a central Florida state college as to how influential several retention strategies would be upon their own enrollment behaviors. By developing an awareness of student’s perceptions regarding the impact of retention strategies on enrollment behaviors, colleges may be better enabled to implement effective strategies that maximize enrollment while minimizing costs. Students enrolled at a central Florida sub-urban state college were surveyed regarding their own perception of how impactful each retention strategy would likely be to influence their decision to enroll in one additional course in the upcoming semester. Information was gathered via Likert scale question items and categorized by demographic information and completed credits. Descriptive statistics and analysis of variance were calculated regarding students’ perceptions of the likely impact of each strategy on their enrollment behaviors. Recommendations for practice and suggestions for future research are offered.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jehd.v9n4a15