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Reflections on Student Persistence

Abstract

The Feature for this issue—Reflections on Student Persistence—has been prepared by Professor Vincent Tinto, Distinguished University Professor Emeritus at Syracuse University, United States of America (USA) and a long-time friend and supporter of STARS.   Vincent explores the case for motivation to be considered as a significant aspect of the tertiary student psyche by drawing on theoretical frameworks, research and practical experiences related to the issue. He synthesises this extensive, detailed, rich but often somewhat impenetrable data into a trilogy of clear and credible key dimensions of the motivation construct—student self-efficacy, sense of belonging and perceived value of the curriculum. This interpretation of the literature is a personal but informed reflection and is a timely piece which highlights the breadth and profundity of the presentations at this year’s conference in Adelaide, Australia where students in all their diversity are central to our focus on enhancing the student experience.  

In this opening article, Vincent refers directly to the STARS papers selected for this Conference issue of the Journal which also address the importance of student persistence, self-efficacy and building the sense of belonging within their own institutional communities (Fernandes, Ford, Rayner & Pretorius; Kahu, Nelson, & Picton; McFarlane, Spes-Skrbis &Taib; Naylor; Smallhorn).   Echoing his position on social justice and his advocacy for underserved students, Vincent reminds us that educational equity gaps still exist, and he encourages us to see the issue of persistence through the eyes of the students to support their perseverance and completion and thereby help reduce educational disadvantage.

Published:
Pages:1 to 8
Section: Feature
How to Cite
Tinto, V. (2017). Reflections on Student Persistence. Student Success, 8(2), 1-8. https://doi.org/10.5204/ssj.v8i2.376

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Author Biography

Syracuse University
United States United States

Vincent Tinto is a Distinguished University Professor Emeritus at Syracuse University and the former Chair of the Higher Education Program. He has carried out research and has written extensively on higher education, particularly on student success and the impact of learning communities on student growth and attainment. His book, Leaving College, published by the University of Chicago Press, lays out a theory and policy perspective on student success that is considered the benchmark by which work on these issues are judged. His most recent book, Completing College, also published by The University of Chicago Press, lays out a framework for institutional action for student success, describes the range of programs that have been effective in enhancing student success, and the types of policies institutions should follow to successfully implement programs in ways that endure and scale-up over time.

He has received numerous recognitions and awards. He was awarded the Council of Educational Opportunity Walter O. Mason 2012 Award for his work on the retention of low-income students, the Council of Independent Colleges 2008 Academic Leadership Award, the National Institute for Staff Development International 2008 Leadership Award, and was named Distinguished Fellow in the Council of Learning Assistance and Developmental Education Associations. Most recently he was the recipient of the 2015 President Harry S. Truman Award for the American Association of Community Colleges for his work for community colleges across America and the 2017 George D. Kuh award for Outstanding Contribution to Literature and Research. He has some 50 notable publications, including books, research reports, and journal articles, to his credit and has lectured across the United States, Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Great Britain, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, South America and The Netherlands. From 1990 to 1996 he was associate director of the National Center for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment.  He has worked with a number of organizations, foundations, and government agencies on issues of student success and sits on a number of advisory boards including the Community College Survey of Student Engagement, and Civitas Learning

Open Access Journal
ISSN 2205-0795