More than a quarter of the students who enter four-year institutions and half of those who enter two-year schools depart at the end of their first year. This phemen is kwn as the departure puzzle, and for years, the most important body of work on student retention has come from sociologist Vincent Tinto. In Reworking the Student Departure Puzzle, leading scholars of the college student experience - including Tinto himself - reevaluate Tinto's interactionalist perspective, which holds that students unable to connect with either the academic or social subsystems of their institutions are likely to leave. Recent critiques of this theory have indicated the need for either its serious revision or the development of a new theory altogether. The contributors to this volume offer a variety of both theoretical and methodological perspectives on student departure, with additional chapters covering mirity student retention, the link between college choice and student persistence, and the effect of the classroom experience on the student's choice. The recommendations made here will t only reinvigorate research on this important topic but will also lead administrators to better mana
John M. Braxton is associate professor in the Department of Leadership and Organizations at Vanderbilt University's Peabody College and editor of the series Vanderbilt Issues in Higher Education, in which this volume appears. His many books include Faculty Misconduct in Collegiate Teaching.