A sense of belonging: Improving student retention

O'Keeffe, P 2013, 'A sense of belonging: Improving student retention', College Student Journal, vol. 47, no. 4, pp. 605-613.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

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Title A sense of belonging: Improving student retention
Author(s) O'Keeffe, P
Year 2013
Journal name College Student Journal
Volume number 47
Issue number 4
Start page 605
End page 613
Total pages 9
Publisher Project Innovation, Inc.
Abstract The purpose of this paper is to explore the causes and potential solutions to, student attrition. With student attrition rates reaching between 30 and 50 per cent in the United States, and over 20 per cent in Australia, the inability of higher education institutions to retain their students is a significant issue. This paper cites key risk factors which place students at risk of non-completion, which include mental health issues, disability, socioeconomic status and ethnicity. Furthermore, first year students and higher degree by research students are susceptible to attrition. The capacity of a student to develop a sense of belonging within the higher education institution is recognised by this paper as a being a critical factor determining student retention. The creation of a caring, supportive and welcoming environment within the university is critical in creating a sense of belonging. This can be achieved by the development of positive student/faculty relationships, the presence of a well resourced counselling centre and the encouragement of diversity and difference.
Subject Education Policy
Keyword(s) mental health
student attrition
student counselling
student faculty relationships
student retention
ISSN 0146-3934
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