Degree of Commitment Among Students at a Technological University – Testing a New Research Instrument
Authors: Jarno Einolander, Hannu Vanharanta
Abstract: Just as commitment in organizations is very important for long-term success, commitment to one’s educational institute is important, too. Higher education provides the foundation for the social, economic and political growth of a country. Therefore, improving student retention by successfully delivering quality education, leading to student graduation and integration in the workforce, is crucial. It has been argued that students stay in their higher education institutes for similar reasons to those that make employees committed and engaged in organizations.In our previous studies we have created a literature-based generic model of organizational commitment and engagement that could be used in conjunction with an Internet-based application to evaluate their various components and primary correlate constructs. In this study we took this evaluation model to the context of a higher educational institute to try to evaluate students’ commitment to their university.As a result, we identified several development needs in order to evaluate students’ commitment with our application. Because the statements in our original instrument were aimed for use in the organizational domain, some of them were not suited to studies on commitment in an educational institute. Looking at the results of our study, we decided that the overall construct of our model and the wording of applicable statements should be modified in order to create an appropriate instrument for use in an academic institution. This was done based on Bean’s Student Attrition Model. However, collective analysis of the test results clearly identified that even with the preliminary model it is possible to find where students see the needs for greatest development and how they view their current state of engagement.
Keywords: Academic, Commitment, Engagement, Evaluation, Application
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