The Consortium for Student Retention Data Exchange
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Consortium for Student Retention Data Exchange

1700 Asp Ave.
Norman, OK 73072

Phone: 405-325-2158
Fax: 405-325-7309





updated: 08/22/07

Cancelled Webinar Rescheduled

The webinar that was originally schedule for December 12th has been rescheduled for January 30th at 2:30 pm CST. Please make note of the changed date and that the time is different than our normal webinar sessions.

Five Factors for Improving Non-Traditional Student Retention at Community Colleges
presented by Angela Long

Date of webinar: January 30, 2007

Materials are now available for this webinar. Click here to view the materials.


While working as a part-time employee at a rural Oregon community college during the 2001-02 academic year, I was assigned the job of collating data that pertained to the number of students who had been administered the General Educational Development Tests from the preceding 5-year period. As the numbers taken from the students’ files were being tallied, I was surprised to discover that the overwhelming bulk of this particular GED population became "dropouts" after having been enrolled for two terms or less. As a consequence, I wondered: Was this figure of 44 percent an anomaly, being entirely atypical of what was happening at other community colleges?

Thereafter, I met with strategic employees of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and the American Council on Education (ACE)—trained researchers who could offer me advice and guidance regarding the most practical methodologies for collecting GED persistence data on a nationwide basis. One year later, I was able to garner and publish significant data relating to the attrition and retention of nontraditional GED students at community colleges nationwide.

This first of its kind national study has shown several significant findings relating to the attrition patterns of a cohort of GED students as compared to a similar cohort of High School Diploma Holders. Specifically, (1) GED students who persist after one year of postsecondary studies are as academically capable and successful as their counterpart equivalent, high school diploma holders, and (2) unless community college officials take proactive approaches to retaining GED students at the outset of their first term of college, it is likely that half will drop out shortly after being matriculated, thus resulting in the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in tuition revenues. The critical underlying factor shown is early intervention to allow for success within the first year. My presentation will conclude with a discussion on my chapter 5 findings entitled: "Five Factors for Improving Student Retention," specifically with reference to non-traditional students at community colleges.




The Consortium for Student Retention Data Exchange at the University of Oklahoma is a consortium of two-year and four-year institutions dedicated to achieving the highest levels of student success through collaboratively sharing data, knowledge, and innovation.

CSRDE is a sponsored activity of the Center for Institutional Data Exchange and Analysis at

The University of Oklahoma Outreach
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