Great Expectations: Examining the Discrepancy between Expectations and Experiences on College Student Retention

Jacob D. Pleitz, Alexandra E. MacDougall, Robert A. Terry, M. Ronald Buckley, Nicole J. Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to build upon previous efforts evaluating the degree to which the discrepancy between student expectations and experiences can result in greater rates of attrition in education. Data were collected from 225 students at a large Midwestern public university and analyzed to assess the discrepancy between expectations and experiences within academic and social domains of higher education. Factor analysis affirmed the hypothesized structure of the responses, and logistic regression results indicated that discrepancies in expectations and experience within social and institutional domains significantly predicted student satisfaction and retention in the second year. An implication of the research is that institutions of higher education may benefit from training students to inculcate more realistic expectations within the institutional and social domains of higher education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-104
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory and Practice
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2015

Keywords

  • Expectations
  • Tinto theory
  • psychological contract
  • student retention

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