Date of Submission

6-14-2018

Embargo

6-14-2018

Degree

Doctor of Education

Department

Education

Keywords

student retention theory, retention model, leader-member exchange theory, LMX, competing values model

Abstract

University student retention is one of the most studied enrolment management concepts in academia, with large amounts of theoretical and empirical research that has influenced campuses around the world (Astin, 1993; Habley, Bloom & Robins, 2012; Swail, 2004; Tinto, 1987). Although the considerations surrounding student retention are many and complex, the definition of retention is fairly straightforward. Berger, Ramirez, and Lyons, (2012) defines retention as “the ability of an institution to retain a student from admission through graduation” (p.5). This organizational improvement plan will discuss student retention in the context of a problem of practice at a Canadian university. Specifically, how a medium-sized research intensive university in Ontario, Canada can increase student retention from the first to second year of undergraduate study. The organizational improvement plan is framed using Bolman and Deal’s (2013) four frames model and an approach for organizational change is considered using Leader-member Exchange (LMX) theory (Graen & Uhl-Bien, 1995).

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