Date of Award

Spring 5-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Educational Administration


Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Foundations

Major Professor

Brian Beabout

Second Advisor

Lorelei Cropley

Third Advisor

Belinda Cambre

Fourth Advisor

Leonard Williams


This case study sheds light on successful matriculation practices which emerge from the combination of institutional efforts and student needs. In order to discern successful matriculation data was collected in the form of interviews, observations, and documents at a less selective college with a high rate of retention. Mortimer Adler College possesses unique qualities with respect to curriculum, student population, teaching styles, and student life which affect retention in both positive and negative ways. The institution utilizes a highly structured Great Books curriculum and does not utilize traditional grading and assessment methods. The methods of student socialization are also explored through interviews with faculty and administrators. The findings of this study reveal the qualities of Mortimer Adler College which both support and hinder student success. The study also gives insight to the views of students within this unique institutional setting, focusing on their needs and goals and how their perceptions of the institution impact retention. The review of practices at this institution combined with the perception of the student body allows for the examination of programs and practices employed by Mortimer Adler College which aid in improving and supporting high retention that may also be used at other institutions of higher education.

Higher Education, Retention, Persistence, Great Books, Socialization, Faculty Student Relationships


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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.