The Clarion

Honor society project looks at why students drop out

PTK Officer team

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Phi Theta Kappa, an international honors society with a chapter at Madison College, participates an annual “Honors In Action” projects. These projects focus on specific questions of study, accompanied by interactive activities hosted by team members; you may have noticed last year’s Honors In Action team tabling to get books for inmates as part of their project.

This year, the question was “Why do some students drop out of college?” As it turned out, no single factor was universally responsible, and different students were susceptible to drop out for different reasons.

One study delved specifically into the experiences of black students, and the results suggested that a lack of social and cultural anchors (such as in Greek houses and extracurricular clubs) leaves these students without critical ties and on campus personal connections—an absence that has been statistically linked to higher rates of drop out.

Another study done evaluated the unique challenges faced by commuter college students, including difficulties navigating public transportation or lengthy amounts of time spent in a car. Across the board, many of the studies highlighted the importance of positive student-staff interactions, a current point of focus at Madison College with the implementation of the Focus on Focus initiative.

As the culmination of our project, our officer team held a discussion panel on student drop-out with experts at Madison College. Students and instructors at Madison College, as well as 120 local high school counselors, were invited to this panel. The resulting conversation is now available to watch through the Clarion Broadcasting’s YouTube channel.

Brandy Nobles is in charge of the 2018 Honors In Action project, and is currently seeking new recruits. If you’re interested in working on the Honors In Action Project, contact [email protected] Volunteers do not have to be members of PTK, and get volunteer hours for their work.

Panel participants were:

  • Masaya Xiong, Advisor for Career and Employment at Madison College.
  • Gerard Xavier, Counseling and College Success department.
  • Teresita Torrence, Retention Advisor.
  • Aunton Terry, Student Program Advisor.
  • Juanita Comeau, Center for College and Career Transitions.
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Honor society project looks at why students drop out