Some students, however, have extreme difficulty determining what they want to pursue academically.
If the indecision continues over a long period of time, students are likely to withdraw from college. Students have experiences with the college both before (visits, application process, etc.) and after their entry.
Alexander Astin defined involvement as the amount of physical and psychological energy that the student devotes to the academic experience (1984, p. This energy is exhibited by the amount of time students spend studying, participating in campus activities, and interacting with faculty and other students.
Students with work or family obligations, single parents, students who have been out of school for a significant amount of time, those who disliked high school or who had negative high-school experiences, students who werent involved in high school, and evening and weekend-only students find it difficult to get involved outside of the classroom.
They are likely to be less prepared academically and receive less support from their families in preparing and planning for college.
This is the situation in which many minority and first-generation students find themselves when embarking on a college experience (Rendn, Jalomo and Nora, 1998).
Students worry that in order to be successful in college they will have to abandon their group identity.
One of the most prominent student retention theorists is Vincent Tinto.
Tintos theory, first published in 1975, focused on 4-year institutions, but his findings are also applicable to community colleges.