Tenacious persisters: Returning adult students in higher education

Kevin Kinser, J. A.Y. Deitchman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


We identify "tenacious persisters" as returning students who have stopped out of college or who delayed their entry into college for more than three years after high school. Using a mixed method approach, we compare the experiences of tenacious persisters enrolled in a community college to students who followed more standard persistence paths. Both groups have similar motivations for attending college at this point in their lives, and similar expectations for achieving their goals. Tenacious persisters, however, attribute much more significance to barriers and personal deficiencies in explaining their past attendance patterns. We conclude that how students persist either as tenacious persisters or standard persisters seems to make a difference in how they view their current attempt at college and the obstacles they may have overcome to be there.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-94
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory and Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


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