"Institutional efforts to increase retention are probably the most cost effective investment possible for maintaining and enhancing enrollment" (Green, 1981).

Recent declines in first-time enrollments has led to increased efforts to retain student at colleges and universities across the United States. For many years, schools of higher education had a large pool of recent high school graduates to draw from in order to meet their enrollment quotas. This pool was a result of the post World War II "Baby-boom". During the late 1980's, however, this enrollment pool shrunk and the competition among universities for potential college students increased. The net effect has been an increased effort by university personnel to retain students after initial enrollment (White & Bigham, 1982).

The decline in first-time enrollment has affected colleges of agriculture and home economics across the nation. Enrollment in our land-grant colleges dropped 25 percent from 1980-84 (Reisch, 1984). The enrollment in the College of Agriculture and Home Economics (CAHE) at Washington State University (WSU) has followed national trends.



student retention

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