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OAKTON EGL 102 - A Review of the Literature

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Jisun KimA Review of the Literature For many college students, lack of motivation often leads them to carrying various problems that prevent them from successfully completing their studies in college. For lack of motivation to take a part in being an obstacle for many college students including the transfer students, there must be valid reasons and studies to support this idea. There are several studies that show the relationship between student’s motivation and their success in college. The results of these studies are clear and valid for it was based on real college students’ experiences regarding their motivation. To clearly prove what we can understand about student persistence in college from data, American Federation of Teachers (AFT) (2003) studied the issue and relationship between persistence and graduation rates in college. AFT started with a firm belief that college institutionsshould be able to give fine quality of education for the students. In their report, AFT studied the graduation data of the federal Student Right to Know Act (SRK) and concluded that it was a wrong choice to focus on the college graduation rates to understand college persistence. AFT found that focusing on graduation rates of colleges is not reliable because not all the students endup finishing their studies in four years of time. Rather, AFT suggested focusing on the data of a six-year longitudinal study of college students done by National Center for Education Statistics. In order to preserve student persistence in college, AFT strongly proposed that the states and the federal government should be involved in caring for students’ success in college by supporting them.Similarly, Habley and McClanahan (2004) studied the graduation rates as well as dropoutrates to help colleges to see how their campus actions have some kind of effect on collegestudent retention and degree completion. Habley and McClanahan looked at the study of student survey done by ACT. This survey was first mailed to 2,995 colleges including “accredited, degree-granting, two-year and four-year public and private colleges.” Then 807 colleges out of 2,995 colleges sent response cards with a person that may participate in the survey. Therefore, 807 individuals and the chief officers from the remaining 2,188 colleges received survey. The result of the survey was that among student characteristics making the greatest contribution to student attrition, lack of motivation to succeed and inadequate financial resources played major roles. In preserving the student retention, Habley and McClanahan came up with solutions such as gathering concise information about each student’s characteristics to help them to improve their persistence in college.Unlike Habley and McClanahan’s study where the responses of more than 2,000 people are carefully studied, Crone and MacKay (2002) wrote an article dedicated to the solutions in motivating college students. Crone and MacKay wondered the reasons why some students are motivated than other students. They argued that as generations change over time, the attitude of today’s students to participate in colleges will change. They defined student motivation as student’s willingness in making educational activities as their top priority in life. For solutions to lack of motivation, Crone and MacKay proposed that it is essential for staff and faculty to understand the diversity in their college. They emphasized the importance of students being engaged in experiential opportunities, which will get them motivated. Also, Allen and Robbins, et al. (2008) studied the influence of “academic performance, motivation, and social connectedness on third-year retention, transfer, and dropout behavior” for their research. Allen and Robbins, et al. studied 48 institutions and 14,464 students who participated in Student Readiness Inventory validation study. The result of this study proved thatcollege student’s social engagement and motivated commitment had direct effects on college retention. Allen and Robbins, et al. argued that students who have lack of social connectedness and motivation for college are likely to drop out. Also, the result clearly showed that pre-college academic preparation is critical to student’s first-year academic performance, which will come tohave impact on student retention. Therefore, Allen and Robbins, et al. concluded that pre-college academic preparation is a key to success in student retention. Contrary to Allen and Robbins, et al., Prescott and Simpson (2004) did a different kind ofstudy in focusing on Maslow’s theory of human motivation by connecting it to student motivation. Prescott and Simpson stated that it is important for the students to identify the “dissatisfiers” in their early experience of the higher education. In their article, Prescott and Simpson studied “the results of unstructured interviews with 687 students over the study period.”Prescott and Simpson carefully observed the data of student attendance and concluded that it wasa successful way of addressing and helping students who were having problems. They argued that observing student attendance figures will identify students who are struggling with their courses and give them a chance to receive assistance. Finally, Brownlow and Reasinger’s (2000) study was based on student’s academic procrastination. Brownlow and Reasinger studied students with high levels of academic procrastination and students who did not procrastinate. In their study, 96 undergraduate students participated in answering questions regarding academic procrastination and motivation. The results showed that academic motivation and how student’s personality is oriented had an impacton academic procrastination. Therefore, Brownlow and Reasinger pointed out that it is essential to understand “what motivates students to start and how such motivation (or lack thereof)influences their procrastination” in order to prevent many students from putting off their academic work, which leads them to fall in to academic problems and


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