1Department of Education, Psychology, Communication, University of Bari, ItalyAmerican Journal of Educational Research
, Vol. 4 No. 19
10.12691/education-4-19-2Copyright © 2016 Science and Education PublishingCite this paper:
Rosa Pia Fontana, Amelia Manuti. Reformulating the Student Retention Model in the Italian Academic Context: The Role of Communities Learning. American Journal of Educational Research
. 2016; 4(19):1289-1294. doi: 10.12691/education-4-19-2.
Correspondence to: Amelia Manuti, Department of Education, Psychology, Communication, University of Bari, Italy. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Moving from the student retention model developed by Tinto the present longitudinal study aimed at enlarging this paradigm and at investigating the model in the Italian academic context. 227 Freshmen University students participated to a longitudinal study that introduced a new variable in the model: the participation to non-curricular academic activities. Students attending psychology class were divided into two groups: an experimental and a control group, depending on the participation to a more traditional formal lesson or to a more active informal learning experience. Before and after the learning experience they were invited to fill in a semi-structured questionnaire encompassing the main variables investigated by Tinto and some others introduced by this study. Though a significant relationship between participation in community learning and academic and social integration and between participation in community learning and institutional and professional commitment were found, results showed significant differences with the original model. The main differences were discussed with reference to the different context in which Tinto’s theory was validated: Italian universities are indeed very different from the American ones, with the non-residential component on top of the list. Practical implications in terms of vocational guidance programmes were also discussed in the paper.