There are factors that may impact the academic success of our students. Concern about retention and attrition rates in higher education have increased over the years. While the statistics remain fairly constant, approximately 50 percent of the freshmen enrolled in colleges and universities drop out before completing their programs. Three forces that can influence a student to leave early are:

Cognitive Factors- strengths and weaknesses of the student, such as level of proficiency in reading, writing and mathematics

Social Factors- the ability to interact effectively with other students, attitudes and their culture

Institutional Factors- refers to the practices, strategies and university environment and how it impacts the achievement of a student

These forces allow us to discuss the dynamics between cognitive, social, and institutional factors, all of which take place within the student. These three forces must combine to provide a solid foundation for student growth, development, and persistence. When stability is lost, students risk reducing their academic and social integration with the institution, and therefore risk dropping or stopping out. These factors work to help describe the persistence process, and the delicate balance between student resources (what the student brings to campus) and institutional resources (what the institution provides for the student).





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