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Retention has become an important issue for colleges and universities throughout the United States. While current retention research has focused on traditional four-year universities and community colleges, little attention has been dedicated to retention efforts at for-profit colleges. Utilizing the personal experiences of for-profit students, the purpose of this research was to explore how a student's previous academic history, relationships with faculty and peers, personal responsibilities, and individual attitude affect a student's ability to be retained. Data was gathered from the for-profit institution: Lincoln College of Technology in Franklin, Ohio. Lincoln College of Technology grants associate's degrees in the medical, business, criminal justice and informational technology fields. Data consisted of personal interviews as well as the analysis of the college's retention documents. The methodology for the research was guided by the constructivist paradigm and grounded theory and the data generated assists a for-profit college's ability to explain, predict, and explore retention.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Graduate Research

Primary Advisor

Molly A. Schaller

Primary Advisor's Department

Counselor Education and Human Services


Stander Symposium poster

Why We Attend School: A Qualitative Retention Study at a Proprietary Higher Education Institution