The Institutional and Personal Factors that Impact Men in Predominately White Post-Secondary Educational Institutions: Understanding Men as a Diverse Group in Higher Education
A striking reality on the Nation's campuses of higher education has been the increase of the American college student population and their inability to persist. Henscheid (2000) suggested that about 65% of high school graduates enroll in a college or university. However, persistence is a major concern and the dropout rate from the freshman to sophomore year of college is one third to one half (Moreno, 1998; Tinto, 1987, 1993). Subsequently, persistence has become a financial concern for institutions of higher learning (Cabrera, Nora & Castaneda, 1992). According to Moreno (1998) and Pantages and Creedon (1978), only four out of every ten students who enter a higher education institution in the United States will graduate in four years.
Earlier national studies found that only 44% of entering freshman college students in the U.S. obtain a degree or attend continuously during their first five years at the first college they attend. An additional 17% complete their degree after dropping out temporarily or after transferring to another college (Tinto, 1987). Recent statistics published by the National Center of Education Statistics (NCES) (2003) indicated that the retention rate for four-year college students from freshmen to sophomore year was 73.6%. The NCES data also revealed that the proportion of students who complete a college degree in four years has declined over the past 10 years from 40% to 36.4%.
Nationwide, in 1974, men participated in postsecondary education at a higher rate than women 38% versus 33%, respectively. Since 1974, both men and women have increased their rate of persistence. However, the persistence rate of women outpaced that of men, so that by 2003 persistence patterns had reversed. Specifically, 51% of females had entered and completed postsecondary education compared to 41% of males (Hudson, Aquilino & Kienzi, 2002).
Keywords: Academic Persistence of Men in Higher Education
Dr. Tracy Mims
Assistant Professor of Social Work, Department of Social Work