Creating the conditions that foster student success in college has never been more important. As many as four-fifths of high school graduates need some form of postsecondary education to be economically self-sufficient and manage the increasingly complex social, political, and cultural issues of the 21st century. But about 40 percent of those who start college fail to earn a degree within 6 or 8 years, an unacceptably low number.
This report examines the complicated array of social, economic, cultural and educational factors related to student success in college, defined as academic achievement, engagement in educationally purposeful activities, satisfaction, acquisition of desired knowledge, skills and competencies, persistence, and attainment of educational objectives.
Although the trajectory for academic success in college is established long before students matriculate, most institutions can do more than they are at present to shape how students prepared for college and they they engage in productive activities after they arrive.
This is the 5th issue of the 32nd volume of the Jossey-Bass series ASHE Higher Education Report. Each monograph is the definitive analysis of a tough higher education problem, based on thorough research of pertinent literature and institutional experiences. Topics are identified by a national survey. Noted practitioners and scholars are then commissioned to write the reports, with experts providing critical reviews of each manuscript before publication.