Retention Resources for Individuals & Educational Institutions

Learning About College Student Retention

Although college student retention is not a new topic, it is a new area of study for some. College student retention is an interesting and important topic when you consider that nearly 50% of those who enter higher education will not earn a degree. So here are some ways you can begin to explore this interesting and fascinating topic.


Astin, A. W. (1975). Preventing students from dropping out. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Braxton, J. M. (ed.) (2000). Reworking the student departure puzzle. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press.

Seidman, A. (ed.) (2005). College student retention: Formula for student success. Westport, CT: ACE/Praeger

Tinto, V. (1993). 2nd Edition. Leaving college: Rethinking the causes and cures of student attrition. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.


Consider subscribing to the Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice. This is the only journal solely devoted to college student retention. Use the link at the top of the page to access information about the journal.

Discussion Group:

Join the retention discussion listserv and ask questions or simply follow discussions. There are over 1,100 members world wide. And best of all it is free. Use the link at the top of the page to access information about the retention discussion list.

Attend Conferences:

Many educational organizations hold annual conferences which usually have sessions on college student retention.


Stay in touch with those you meet at conferences, at your local, state and national organizations, graduate courses and campus groups who are interested in college student retention.

Form Groups Within Organizations:

Most faculty, administrators and staff belong to local, state, regional and/or national professional organizations. Encourage these organizations to develop a retention group within the organization.

Develop a State Retention Group:

Initiate getting colleges within your state to discuss retention issues through the state higher educational division or by yourself. Host a meeting at your college with a follow-up meeting at a different college each month or quarter.