ABSTRACT

Myriad possibilities emerge in studying the influences on the success of students in college. Indeed, researchers and administrators across a wide range of institutions of higher education have discussed both policy and practice that lead to greater degrees of retention and persistence (for a review, see Lotkowski, Robbins, & Noeth, 2004). While some foci of higher education must necessarily turn the attention towards issues of institutional or even federal/state policy, at the same time much research looks at individual differences or cultural characteristics that appear to influence the success of students negatively in attending and/or persisting at the desired higher levels (e.g., Asera, 1998; Belgarde & LoRe, 2003; Landry, 2002). To be sure, although a clear formula for student success has yet proved to be unattainable, despite best efforts, the pursuit of such a goal may be a mythical quest – and even shortsighted – across colleges and universities given the importance of local factors unique to each campus. While these driving forces have not yet been fully understood, all individuals involved in student persistence at least agree that no one single factor is the sole determinant for students’ abilities to thrive.