Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
At a small for-profit college located outside of New York City, declining classroom attendance over the last few years has become a serious concern in the business program. Poor attendance is one of the major causes for enrollment dropping and poor student retention. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to identify factors that influence student attendance. The study was based on Tinto's (1975) model of student integration and Nora and Cabrera's (1996) student adjustment model, which relates environmental influences on student retention. The research questions were used to investigate why students attend or do not attend classes, and strategies to improve classroom attendance. Data collection included semistructured face-to-face interviews with a purposeful sample of 16 students, 3 teachers in the business program, and 3 administrators. Textual analysis of the data, and a qualitative data analysis software program was used to manage and analyze the qualitative data. The data analysis revealed the following themes: academic reasons, social influences, and financial challenges. These findings led to the development of a 3-day professional learning workshop for teachers, students, and administrators to improve class attendance. This study also has the potential to foster positive social change by providing strategies that facilitate retention and higher graduation rates, resulting in students graduating with a degree and skills to find better employment opportunities.