2012 - Support, Commitment, and Persistence: Are Students in Supportive Academic Programs More Committed to Their Institutions?
Institutional commitment has been shown to be highly predictive of college student retention (Bean, 1980; Woosley & Miller, 2009). Research indicates that highly supportive academic programs with a career-related focus are associated with higher retention rates (Nitecki, 2011). Furthermore, academic and social integration have been related to retention through the mediating influences of institutional commitment (Beal, Reison, Zea, & Caplan, 1999). This study used a survey method to investigate whether students who are enrolled in a supportive academic program -- one promoting academic and social integration -- demonstrate higher levels of institutional commitment than students who are enrolled in a less supportive general education program. The study was conducted at Clark State Community College and contains data from undergraduate students in the Agriculture/Horticulture Technologies programs and the Associate of Arts program. Additional analysis was performed to determine the extent to which other demographic factors contribute to mean institutional commitment scores among various sub-populations across a wide variety of academic programs.