Date of Award


Degree Name

Leadership Studies


College of Education

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Mary Harris-John

Second Advisor

Dennis M. Anderson

Third Advisor

Steve Banks

Fourth Advisor

Luke Eric Lassiter

Fifth Advisor

Michael Gilbert


Student retention is a growing and common concern among community college administrators across the United States given the low retention rates at two-year institutions. With little change in the retention rates of first-year students at community colleges, administrators are searching for successful strategies and models within these heterogeneous educational environments to address the costs and consequences associated with low retention rates at two-year institutions.

The purpose of this study was to determine what relationship existed, if any, between attending a public, two-year community college in the United States with or without campus housing and the retention of first-year students. This study collected extant data from 2007 to 2011 from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) on first-year student retention rates and other relevant student variables from 448 public, two-year community colleges in the United States and included such variables as age, gender, financial aid, graduation rates, race, and sex.

The results of this study indicated that the retention rates of community colleges with campus housing were lower than those without campus housing. Also, when compared with the other variables analyzed in this study, graduation rates consistently favored community colleges with on-campus housing, which supports other retention research.

Given the unique nature of both the community college student and environment, more data are needed in order to more effectively measure the practices, strategies, and student integration at public, two year community colleges with campus housing in order to gain more insights into various facets of the community college experience and more closely analyze and discover any possible relationship between living on campus and first-year student retention at public, two-year community colleges in the United States.


Community colleges.

College students - Success.