Melissa E. Hudson, Ph.D.
East Carolina University

Abstract

This paper examines special education graduate program retention data in connection with issues identified as affecting retention in higher education. We reviewed archival data for a three-year period to evaluate retention during a time of continual institutional and programmatic change. Descriptive data for four specific graduate strands in the participating program were examined through the consideration of student involvement, student interactions with faculty, and the disruption of established traditions. Through this examination, we found that retention rates remained stable over the three-year period, which may have been the result of several factors shown in retention literature to decrease student attrition.

Keywords: retention, attrition, graduate students, programmatic change, special education, higher education, student completion, student persistence

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