2007 OPEN FORUM Abstracts
EXPLORING THE EFFECT OF PROGRAM RESOURCES ON STUDENT RETENTION IN RESPIRATORY THERAPY EDUCATION
Background: Respiratory care education (RCE) programs are being held accountable for student retention. While attrition impacts the institution in terms of academic reputation, and resources spent for students, it influences the studentâs personal and professional future. Increasing student retention is necessary for the respiratory therapy profession, which suffered from a shortage of qualified therapists needed to meet the increased demand. The present study investigated the relationship between student retention rates and program resources in order to understand which and to what extent the component of program resources predict student retention rates.
Methods: The target population of this study was Baccalaureate of Science degree RCE programs. After utilizing a survey research method, descriptive statistics, Pearson correlations and multiple regression analysis were used for data analysis.
Results: With a 63% response rate (n=36), this study found a statistically significant relationship between program resources and student retention rate. Financial and personnel resources had a statistically significant positive relationship with student retention. The ratio of financial resources to students was responsible for 32% of the variance in student retention, while the ratio of personnel resources to students accounted for 12.46% of variance in student retention. Program financial resources available to students were the only single predictor of program performance on student retention.
Conclusions: RCE programs spending more money per student and utilizing more personnel in the program have higher mean performance in student retention. Therefore, RCE programs must devote sufficient resources to retaining students so that they can produce more respiratory therapists and thereby make the respiratory therapy profession stronger.