Student Attrition from Newfoundland and Labrador's Public College


  • Dale Kirby
  • Dennis Sharpe



Educators, administrators, and government officials alike are interested in reducing the rate of student withdrawal at Canadian postsecondary institutions. Aside from the loss of financial resources, there are other negative effects associated with early departure from community college or university. This article outlines research into first-semester student withdrawal from engineering technology programs at a campus of the College of the North Atlantic in St. John's, Newfoundland. The research was designed to investigate various aspects of withdrawal of first-semester students enrolled in Engineering Technology programs at the College. The research design incorporated focus groups, interviews, and the collection and statistical analysis of quantitative data. Results of this study showed that 24.9% of first-semester Engineering Technology students withdrew before the winter 2000 semester, and that students' academic difficulties play a significant role in their decisions to withdraw or persist at the College. These results were consistent with Tinto's (1993) Student Integration Model.