School Engagement and Retention Program for Tertiary Students: Basis for Proposed Enhancement Program

10 Pages Posted: 11 May 2018

Date Written: June 3, 2017


It is a common scenario in an educational institution to see students dropping from their class and discontinues schooling for varied reasons. School administrators and the government, in support to all academic institutions, designs and implements programs just to keep these students inside the school. Private educational institutions, colleges and universities themselves allot a considerable slice of their annual budget for retention programs. Education policy makers designs and innovates retention programs and activities to get the attention and sustain the interests of the students in accomplishing their enrolled courses. But despite all these, students still drops and leaves school. It is the objective of this study to understand what retention program makes them to stay, to identify what retention program or activities encouraged them somehow to continue their stay in the school. This study aimed to assess the students’ retention program. It sought to answer the following questions: What is the profile of the student-respondents in terms of gender, age, number of siblings, marital status, school status, school benefactor, scholarship, mother’s educational attainment and father’s educational attainment?; How do the students assess their school engagement?; How do the student-respondents and school personnel assess the retention program as regards: frequency of experience; level of satisfaction; and level of importance? How do the student-respondents perceive the effects of the retention program to students’ development? Is there a significant difference between the assessment of the student-respondents and school personnel on the retention program as regards to: Frequency of experience; Level of satisfaction; Level of importance?; Is there a significant relationship between the profile of the student-respondents and: School engagement; retention program; effect of retention program?. Based on the result of the study, what enhancement program may be proposed? The study made use of the descriptive design of research. The research was conducted among 483 sophomore college students of the university enrolled in varied programs and 21 school personnel. The respondents were purposively chosen for the reason that they are the ones who had ample exposure to college life situations and had experience with the retention program of the school. The survey instrument was patterned after the College Student Engagement Survey designed by Community College Survey of Student Engagement. Majority of the parts of the instrument were self-made by the researcher based on long years of observation and experience. The instrument and had undergone positive validity and reliability testing. Respondents’ response is based from a 5-point Likert scale. The significant findings are as follows: Majority of the student-respondents are Female (55.1%), Ages 17-18 (52.8%) who remains single (52.8%) with 2 siblings (34.6%). They enjoy full-time status or considered a regular student (95.7%). The respondents’ school finance support mostly came from their mother (68.5%), who had gone through college (55.1%) same with their father (58.2%). The respondents enjoy financial assistance thru varied scholarship (51.3%) mostly from internal scholarship (30.2%). On School Engagement, the student-respondents were “sometimes” engaged in school activities. Significantly rated high is where the students working with other students on projects during class hours. On assessment of retention program’s frequency of experience; student-respondents rated it 2.81 with a verbal interpretation of “sometimes”, while the school personnel rated it slightly higher at 3.69 verbally interpreted as “sometime”. Taking the combined assessment, the two groups rated it 3.25 and verbally interpreted as “sometimes”. On assessment of retention program’s level of satisfaction; student-respondents rated it 2.80 with a verbal interpretation of “satisfied”, while the school personnel rated it slightly higher at 3.86 verbally interpreted as “highly satisfied”. Taking the combined assessment, the two groups rated it 3.33 and verbally interpreted as “satisfied”. On assessment of retention program’s level of importance; student-respondents rated it 3.49 with a verbal interpretation of “important”, while the school personnel rated it higher at 4.33 verbally interpreted as “very important”. Taking the combined assessment, the two groups rated it 3.91 and verbally interpreted as “important”. The study arrived at the following conclusions: Scholarship or any form of financial assistance is considered a very important consideration to continue with studies; Parents’ educational attainment is a big factor for the students to also aim for their education. They consider their parents as role model in their endeavor to obtain a college degree; School involvement is largely more experienced by male than female students; Students mostly attend to school activity that promotes collaboration, team building, group presentation and camaraderie building. There are more students who actively attend to Inter- department or inter-organization competitions and activity. Students also mostly attend to activity that involves social collaboration; Student considers important, retention programs that develop their confidence, social life, leadership, financial assistance or scholarships and activities that recognize their contribution to the society; Gender, age and school status are significantly related to students’ school experience; Student tends to continue or finish his/her schooling if there are people within the organization where he/she can turn to for help. If there are school programs to assist or support him/her throughout his stay in the school. The recommendations offered are: School administrators should design scholarship that will help the student until he/she finishes her program and not the marketing strategy type of scholarship that is used to entice student only; The Local government unit (Governor, Mayor and Congressman) must expand their scholarship program to cover not only tuition but also miscellaneous and that it should be available not only for SUC but also to private colleges and universities. To give the student the freedom to select where he/she want to pursue his/her schooling; For the school administrator to establish or put up a retention/guidance office that will take care or focus to the needs and problems of students. The office should be an active implementer of retention programs and not just the police type of office; Retention director to design and implement retention programs and activities that caters to gender equality and all ages covered; The retention office and all its personnel and possibly all school personnel should always implement an “open door policy” so they are always available to students who has concerns or problems; A similar in-depth study is to be conducted incorporating thoroughly other reasons for student drop-out.

Keywords: Student Retention; Student Engagement; Student Drop-out

Suggested Citation

Domingo, Paquito R., School Engagement and Retention Program for Tertiary Students: Basis for Proposed Enhancement Program (June 3, 2017). Proceedings Journal Education, Psychology and Social Science Research, Vol 4, Issue 7, 2017. Available at SSRN: or

Paquito R. Domingo (Contact Author)

PHINMA Araullo University ( email )

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