CUP Undergraduate Research


Retention of Students at Oregon Colleges: A Comparison with Students from Hawai'i

Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis


College of Theology, Arts, & Sciences



Degree Name

Psychology, BA

First Advisor

Erin Mueller, PhD


Students are departing from college for many reasons, and the risk becomes higher for minority students (Saenz, Marcoulides, Junn, & Young, 1999). This study included 137 participants (28 males, 109 females, M age = 19.9 years, age range: 18-27 years) who completed an online survey. This sample included 99 students from Hawaiʻi who are attending college in Oregon. There were 7 participants in the phone interviews; 5 of which were from Hawaiʻi. A Chi-Square (X2) test was used to determine that there was no significant difference between type of student on the influence of sense of community X2 (3, N = 137) = 3.57, p = .31, parent emotional support X2 (3, N = 137) = 2.42, p = .49, and peer emotional support X2 (3, N = 137) = 2.67, p = .45. The 3 most important factors for Hawaiʻi students were their perceived self-efficacy (M = 1.30), financial assistance from parents or family (M = 1.36), and financial assistance from government loans, scholarships, and grants (M = 1.39). During the interviews, all students described a sense of community that influenced their decision to remain at their institution. Colleges need to offer opportunities where connections can be made and students can feel as if they belong.

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