Academic integration of university students as a determining factor of student dropout in the short term. An analysis of the distance education system in Ecuador
This study addresses the problem of the abandonment (drop out) of university studies from the point of view of the level of student integration. This approach is used with the aim of locating the factor(s) that provide(s) the greatestmount of information regarding the decision to continue or to abandon one’s studies. The theoretical characterization of this phenomenon has become one of the underlying factors that are used to explain the theory behind students dropping out of their courses. Based on this theory, we can determine the level of incidence of student drop outs- and determine the (high) incidence - where immediate results serve as a means of measuring academic integration and the decision to continue or to quit one’s studies. Statistical information is grouped in such a way that it is possible to follow the guidelines and expectations outlined in the theory-and also helps us to understand typical characteristics of this phenomenon. To generate empirical evidence information, we worked with data from 6,715 students, who belonged to the April-August 2012 cohort at the Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja, and which represents 82% of the student population of Ecuador who are enrolled in the distance learning system. Evidence for this study was obtained from the following sources: first, there was a description of the data and an application of the characterization process. In this phase, it was determined that 40.6% of students dropped out for academic reasons; 8.9% dropped out for non-academic reasons; 32.6% stayed for academic reasons; and 17.5% remained for non-academic reasons. Second, we estimated probabilistic models that confirmed the negative relationship between the immediate results (calculated as an average of academic integration), and factors concerning the decision to quit one’s studies.
Distance Education, Dropout Rate, Undergraduate Students, Educational system