Student Adjustment - A Critical Issue Concerning Student Retention

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Student adjustment is a critical issue concerning student retention, because if a student can’t adjust to being a college student then more than likely they will drop out or struggle throughout college to finish. Most, if not all universities realize that the First Year Experience (FYE) is critical to retaining students. Some schools go to great lengths to help their freshman students adjust to being away from home and being a college student. Whether the university chooses to or not the FYE is an important factor in determining the success of a student at that university. While researching the University of South Carolina website, I came across an article titled, “Adjusting to the first Year of College: A Reflection on the Importance of Parental, Peer, and Institutional Support. This article focused on how personal factors, such as lack of adjustment to college, are more predictive of attrition than academic factors (Kalsner &Pistole, 2003; kerr et al., 2004). In regard to retention it is important that students have the support of parents, peers, and of the institution. Research on the relationship between the relationship between parental support and college adjustment is limited (Mounts et al., 2006), but some researches indicate that parental support was positively related to college adjustment. Also this research shows that regardless of the emotional support of the parents, if they lack college experience, it is possible that they may be unable to provide instrumental support while their children adjust to a new context. In support of this assumption, Nunez and Cuccaro-Alamin (1998) found that college students whose parents had some college experience reported higher levels of adjustment than students whose pa... ... middle of paper ... ... helping the student adjust to college, but still it’s up to the student. The university should encourage parents to remain active in their child life and welcome the parents to attend orientations and family day events. Some universities are afraid of helicopter parents, but parents that play an active role in the student life may help with retention efforts with the school. Students should be encouraged to get out and meet new people by attending social activities sponsored by the school. The institution should have tracking devices set up to help direct those students that need a little nudge in the right direction. Student retention relies on the successful adjustment of the student and the FYE. Previous research has found that students who have difficulties adjusting to college are more likely to withdraw (Kalsner & Pistole, 2003).

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