Addressing Motivational Variables for Student Retention: Tinto Model Framework

The above mentioned framework addresses the Tinto Model which is a highly regarded model bringing out motivational variables which retention. The primary variable suggested by Tinto is Goal Commitment, the theory relating with the Expectation Theory that involves setting goals to be achieved, maintaining optimism in the environment and that invariably affecting retaining students back in the institution.

According to Tinto, the environmental theories are those that emphasise the role of factors other than the individual (psychological) characteristics of the students on their behaviours within their academic institutions.

Often, however, the psychological and sociological perspectives seem to be the umbrella categories under which most student retention models fall.

In 1987, Tinto proposed the Dynamic model of Institutional Departure. This model emphasises that the process of student retention is clearly dependent on a student's experiences, interactions and collective outcomes gained from the institution.

The psychological theories, as noted above, attribute student attrition to the shortcoming and weaknesses of the student him or herself.

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Tinto (1993) criticised this view, as it ignores the impact of students' institutional and social context on their persistence.

He argued that, while psychological theories claim that student attrition can be reduced by improving students' skills or narrowing the initial selection process to target only those students who are academically suited to the given institution, there is no evidence to support such claims. Examples of psychological studies are the theoretical models of Astin (1984) and Bean and Eaton (2002).

In contrast to the psychological perspective, the sociological theories have been concerned with individuals' attributes and their positions within the wider context of their academic institutions and their society, such as in terms of social status and race (Tinto, 1993).

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Many of the studies in the literature that have looked beyond the individual attributes of non-persisted students can be classified as sociological. According to Habley et al. (2012), the sociological theories However, Tinto (1993) suggested that the underlying perspectives of these theories vary according to the social theories from which they derive.

While, as mentioned, the psychological and sociological perspectives dominate the field, another perspective that is sometimes taken is the organisational perspective.

Expectancy Theory

The Expectancy Theory of Motivation by Vroom in 1964 suggested that when students are doing well, there is a higher rate of retaining in the institution. The study identified that motivation in students put together with an effort to do well brought out performance and a valued outcome of its purpose.

Attribution Theory

This theory bridges both primary theories motivation expectancy theory along with retention.

Another theoretical foundation of student attrition studies derived from the studies of turnover in work organisations; particularly from the works of Price (1977) and Price and Mueller (1981). The Student Attrition Model of Bean (1980) was the first model to adopt this concept.

Employee turnover in work organisations is defined as (Price, 1977, (Price, 1977, p. 4). According to Bean (1980), student attrition is analogous to employee turnover and both employees and students leave for similar reasons. In both processes, organisational determinant variables play a vital role due to their effect on satisfaction, which is a major predictor of employee and student retention.

Finally, while the 'pay' variable is seen as one of the most important predictors of employee turnover in work organisations, Bean claimed that student grade point average (GPA), development, institutional quality and practical value are the equivalent predictors in the education system.

Therefore, the Student Attrition Model (Bean, 1980) contains the following four categories of variables: dropout as a dependent variable, satisfaction and institutional commitment as intervening variables, the organisational determinants and the background variables.

After statistical analysis of the hypothesis of Price's (1977) turnover model, Bean concluded that the conceptual views of turnover in work organisation studies were the model was built to identify the variables that affect students' intentions to leave, which is, as argued by Bean, the main indicator of student attrition.

To do this, Bean categorised the variables from the reviewed student attrition models into the following four main categories: background, organisational, environmental and attitudinal and outcome variables. According to Bean (1982), any student attrition study should include variables from these four categories.

Additionally, because this model is not exclusive to a single theoretical foundation, it is possible to adapt it for application in different contexts and types of institution. By adding or deleting variables within these four categories, researches can adjust the model for their specific purposes.

Historical background of student retention studies

As indicated by Vincent Tinto (1993), best known for his work on student departure from school, the main guideline of compelling maintenance programs and, subsequently, guaranteeing understudy achievement is "institutional pledge to students. "He notes, "It is a dedication that springs from the very character of an organization's instructive mission".

Throughout the decades, the retention literature appears to have focused on different issues. For instance, Lee Noel (1985) talks about four authentic phases of research advancement. To start with, analysts saw retention for the most part as a factor in enlistment the executives and in this manner set their consideration on creating prescient models of steady loss. Second, as specialists moved their emphasis on revealing techniques that work to reduce understudy weakening, particularly for high-risk students, the scan for good practices and evident results followed. Third, insightful intrigue widened to incorporate hierarchical variables of achievement, and concentrated on creating compelling approaches to prepare campus wide endeavours so as to enhance retention. Fourth, after the authoritative methodology, more noteworthy thought has been given to staffing; recommending that capability just as a minding demeanour of workforce and staff at last influences the accomplishment of any maintenance programs or campus wide activities.

It is fundamental to underscore the significance of the two inquiries identified with leaving and remaining and their related lines of request; both are indispensable to understanding the complexities associated with maintenance. For instance, it has been noticed that the field's 'fixation on anomalies' has prompted numerous foundations setting practically elite consideration on understudies who are most in danger of dropping out instead of on understudies who are in the 'focal point of the bend,' which may represent the powerlessness of these schools to make significant gains in their general maintenance markers (Kalsbeek refered to in Hoover, 2008). Moral issues have likewise been brought up regarding applying assets to retention programs intended to profit just an exceptionally modest number of understudies (Hossler and Bean, 1990). Throughout the decades, distinctive hypothetical points of view have commanded the grant on maintenance.

John Summerskill's 1962 publication, in which he traits scholarly capacity in satisfying the needs of scholastic projects and understudies' identity attributes as the essential components deciding diligence, animated exchange on what causes dropping out of school. During the 1970s mental components and clarifications overwhelmed hypothetical improvement and research on retention (e.g., Heilbrun, 1965; Rose and Elton, 1966; Marks, 1967; Rossmann and Kirk, 1070; Waterman and Waterman, 1972). Vincent Tinto's work has made ready for a sociological investigation of maintenance (e.g., 1975, 1987, and 1993), which has been mainstream for a very long while. His exploration and that of his adherents might be credited with extending the discussion on the reasons for steady loss by pointing out institutional components that influence maintenance, in particular the significance of scholastic and social mix in reducing dropout rates.

At first expanding on Emile Durkheim's (1951) treatise on the social underlying foundations of social deviation and William Spady's (1971) use of anomie hypothesis (i.e., the impact of relative normlessness on human conduct) to clarify dropping out, Tinto's model spotlights to a great extent on scholastic joining (i.e., sharing scholarly qualities) and social coordination (i.e., creating understudy and personnel companionships) to represent varieties in whittling down rates. Anyhow, in ensuing versions of his hypothesis, he puts more accentuation on the cooperation among individual and institutional factors and includes other hypothetical points of view, for example, Van Gennep's (1960) soul changing experiences hypothesis, proposing that reconciliation might be encouraged by fruitful partition from family and secondary school partners. John Bean and Shevawn Eaton (2000) offer a coordinated staggered model of reasons for dropping out. Their model joins singular attributes and foundation factors. Precedents incorporate secondary school encounters; understudies' expectations or instructive objectives; family support; markers of understudies' scholarly standing and social coordination in school; how understudies cooperate with the institutional bureaucratic structures; outer variables (i.e., financial circumstance or individual connections outside of school); and at last understudies' demeanors toward themselves and the school, including sentiments of fit and dependability to the foundation. The model unites mentality conduct hypothesis, self-viability hypothesis, adapting conduct hypothesis, authoritative turnover hypothesis, and social reconciliation and estrangement hypothesis.

Alexander Astin (1997) in his book, "What Matters in College", adopts an extraordinary strategy by concentrating for the most part on the examples of commitment shown by effective understudies. He reasons that the keys to progress or graduation are contribution and association. Association refers to both formal scholarly or scholarly interests just as co-curricular exercises. Among the essential proportions of scholastic association is time spent on scholarly analyses and undertakings, and the improvement of higher subjective aptitudes (e.g., understanding, application, investigation, union, and assessment). Co-curricular inclusion incorporates proportions of support in grounds exercises and enrolment in scholarly/praises affiliations and social clubs. Association refers to holding with friends, workforce and staff just as sharing the institutional qualities. Like Astin's introduction, George Kuh's work underscores the job of understudy commitment in understudy achievement. In his co-authored book, Student Success in College: Creating Conditions that Matter, he and his partners delineate significant strategies and works on originating from a two-year consider (called Documenting Effective Educational Practices (DEEP) venture) of 20 in number performing schools and colleges all of which speak to higher than anticipated understudy commitment as shown by understudy reactions on the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and higher than anticipated graduation rates. The consequences of the examination recommend that DEEP schools all plainly well-spoken desires for progress and show to understudies how to exploit institutional assets.

Although the student attrition phenomenon has been a major concern for educational institutions and educators since the establishment of the formal education system (Habley et al., 2012; Seidman, 2005b; Tinto, 1993), theoretical models arising from the systematic study of the phenomenon were not developed until the early 1970s (Berger et al., 2012).

These eras start from the prehistory of student retention, when retention was not considered as an issue because graduating was not the goal of students, and continue to the current era, in which the theoretical and conceptual foundations of the phenomenon have been established and the implications set.

Further, Berger et al. (2012) divided these eras into two main categories. In the first category, they grouped all the eras before the 1960s (four eras) together, as they share a lack of a systematic approach towards student retention. The second category includes the last five eras, starting from the 1960s and continuing until the present. The authors argued that during this period, student retention become a global concern and consequently systematic and theoretical studies were developed.

For a long time, student retention studies and explanations relied heavily on physiological views that emphasised the role of the personality, abilities and motivation of individual students (Tinto, 1993). However, since the emergence of new trends in the field beginning in the 1970s, student retention theoretical models and studies have been classified in the literature under various categories based on the perspective being taken; for example, psychological, sociological, organisational, environmental, interactional and economic (Braxton, 2000; Braxton & Hirschy, 2005; Habley et al., 2012; Tinto, 1993.

Scholars have disagreed in their classification of the perspectives in the student retention theories literature. While Habley et al. (2012) classified retention studies under psychological, cultural, sociological, organisational and economic theoretical perspectives, Tinto (1993) labelled the last three perspectives as variants of what he called the environmental perspective.

This perspective focuses on the impact on student retention of the organisation of the tertiary institution, such as the administrative system, facilities, resources and number of faculty (Tinto, 1993). Examples of this perspective are the studies of Bean (1983).

Factors influence on student leaving from school

School administration

Teachers should compose the vital panels. They should represent no less than a half of the participation of authoritative boards of trustees. Ten out of the twelve educators demanded this must be drawn nearer with alert. Since the educators involve the most essential posts in the school, they ought to have the expert to make claims approach in load to that of the directors. However teachers ought not to be over-burden by performing educating and authoritative responsibilities simultaneously. (Dish, 2004).

Physical facilities

All teachers concurred that cutting edge encouraging gear was fundamental, particularly automated and intuitive educating offices. Setting up English courses is accurately stressed. In any case, in provincial zones it is increasingly hard to select a particular English teacher that is required, and to advance a course of English investigations in the primary schools. With regards to the ethos of the school, in the event that somebody was testy or overcritical, or tended to micromanage their exercises without believing them at ground level, this had its impact on teachers' confidence and eagerness for the work.

Leadership and management

Five teachers referenced that a steady and understanding Principal, with a 'supporting' style, will greatly affect the eagerness and devotion of his staff. By a similar token, a Principal who is requesting and fastidious, imperious, and engrossed with ticking the crates required on government investigation shapes, as opposed to with the more extended term parts of instruction all in all, will have a comparing negative impact on his staff. A few principals feels themselves to be experiencing strain from the legislature to enhance their very own evaluation scores, and move this into weight on the staff to expand the measure of organization work that they do, and to focus barely on the scoring of focuses. (Tong, 2005).

2.5.4 Individual factors

Joined with this, the falling birth rate had prompted a change in parental mentalities towards their only child, who turned into their little fortune. Parents had more requests, and more prominent desires, which were not constantly reasonable. However they would bring weight onto educators, and in the event that they felt disappointed would connect with the assistance of advisors or supporters, to talk and upset for their sake. This has prompted unreasonable time being spent by school principals, in encouraging great advertising. (Chiu and Huang, 2007).

Government Policy

Schools with little quantities of teachers found the arrangements increasingly hard to execute. The majority of the twelve teachers recognized Government Policy similar to a noteworthy impact. It was particularly troublesome for little scale schools to execute government micromanagement arrangements. This was a direct result of the modest number of educators, and the quantity of authority frames every instructor needed to finish to archive execution of such a significant number of parts of arrangement. The cramping bureaucratic controls ought to be lifted from educators permitting them increasingly proficient freedom. Together with lifting of old fashioned limitations on instructors, a less prohibitive frame of mind is required as to educating materials. While arithmetic and material science stay crucial center subjects, they may not be suitable for all, and more extensive extent of options ought to likewise be reflected in books and encouraging media advertised. There is a need to give suitable training not just in the restricted subjects of the scholastically disposed understudies, yet in addition for most of school kids who need readiness for a good and compensating occupation on the planet past school. Hence a more extensive scope of choices should be given to reflect and suit the wide scope of interests and needs of most of understudies. (Lin, 2005).

Research Gap

The reviewed literature so far had in common noted that there are critical issues which influenced students leave from the school; therefore, there are various retention strategies proposed by the researchers and the authors. Still there are gap to identify the issues regarding the Sri Lankan context; therefore, through the empirical findings, this research study identify the gap in between the student leaving and the retention and fulfil the gap significantly.

Updated: Apr 29, 2023
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Addressing Motivational Variables for Student Retention: Tinto Model Framework. (2019, Dec 18). Retrieved from

Addressing Motivational Variables for Student Retention: Tinto Model Framework essay
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