Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Thomas J. Ward


The purpose of this study was to test the Bean and Metzner Model of Nontraditional Student Attrition (1985) in a small, rural community college environment. The influence of selected sets of background, environmental, and academic variables from the model were tested, in addition to, the individual variables contained within each set. The differences between the persister and nonpersister groups were examined by variables.;Data was collected via the Student Entry Questionnaire and the Student Questionnaire. Everyone who came in for placement testing at Paul D. Camp Community College during the fall of 1991 (n = 148) completed the Student Entry Questionnaire. Based upon a discriminant analysis using all eighteen variables, the model did predict with 92% accuracy. Multiple regression was used to investigate the first four subsidiary questions.;The three statistically significant predictor variables of student attrition were commitment to attend Paul D. Camp Community College (PDCCC), opportunity to transfer, and student's educational goals. In the stepwise regression procedure, commitment to attend PDCCC accounted for over 31% of the variance (R{dollar}\sp2{dollar} =.3140). Opportunity to transfer was the next best predictor variable that added over 2% more to the prediction accuracy (R{dollar}\sp2{dollar} =.0273). The third strongest predictor was student's educational goals which added just over 3% to the prediction (R{dollar}\sp2{dollar} =.0307).;The background and defining variable set provided the most powerful prediction value followed by the environmental variable set. None of the academic variables were found to be significant. There was not a significant interactional effect between the academic and environmental variable sets for predicting attrition.;This study reported the differences between the persister and nonpersister groups according to the eighteen variables examined found from using T-tests. This study presented suggestions and strategies for reducing the negative impact of these factors.;Further study is needed to ascertain the difference between student perception in response to the variables and actual behavior. Follow-up studies of a longitudinal design would increase the efficiency of the model.



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