Student Departure

Consumer behavior theory of student departure: Advancing a theory

A Paper Presented in Partial Fulfillment of Course Requirements
For ED 5603 – Essentials for Retention in Higher Education
Capella University
January 21, 2007
Instructor: James Cook, Ph.D.

Consumer behavior theory of student departure: Advancing a theory
studentdeparture—the decision by students not to persist in their academic pursuit—is a complex phenomenon. College administrators and researchers have been relentless in their quest to understand why students who begin attending colleges drop out at notably high rates. According to Braxton, Hirschy and McClendon (2004), 45% of two-year college students and 25% of four-year college students leave college before completing their first year (p. 1). For nearly three-quarters of a century, researchers have advanced and tested theories intended to explain why some students and not others decide to leave college before achieving their personal goals. Continue reading