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The College Persistence Questionnaire: Development and Validation of an Instrument That Predicts Student Attrition

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The investigators reviewed the retention literature and developed a 53-item questionnaire and tested its validity. Component analysis of the responses of 2,022 students at four schools yielded six reliable factors: Institutional Commitment, Degree Commitment, Academic Integration, Social Integration, Support Services Satisfaction, and Academic Conscientiousness. A second study on 283 first-semester freshmen examined whether factor scores predicted which students returned for their sophomore year. Logistic regression found that three factors were statistically significant predictors of enrollment status, after controlling for high school class rank and standardized test scores: Institutional Commitment, Academic Integration, and Academic Conscientiousness. Strategies are provided for making use of scores based on differences between institutions and between individual students.

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