Ashland University Administrators Publish Book on Influences on College Retention

Ashland University Administrators Publish Book on Influences on College Retention

1/15/15 ASHLAND, Ohio – Two Ashland University administrators have published a new book titled “Influence of Involvement and Cognitive Ability on College Retention.”

The book, published by Lambert Academic Publishing, was written by Jonathan Locust Jr., director of Institutional Diversity at Ashland University, and Dr. Oscar McKnight, the director of Psychological Counseling and Health Services and associate dean for Student Affairs at Ashland University.

The book is based on a study by Locust and McKnight that examined the relationship between student involvement and cognitive ability on college retention. A number of interaction effects were investigated, including high-cognitive ability/high University involvement (HCHI); high-cognitive ability/low University involvement (HCLI); low-cognitive ability/high University involvement (LCHI); and low-cognitive ability/low University involvement (LCLI).

The findings of the study suggest that group assignment is significantly related to student retention over and above the effects of minority status.

“Institutions devote a great deal of time and resources into retention; however, they do not always obtain the desired outcome,” Locust said. “This study found ‘canned’ data within a university that when examined from a different vantage point accounted for 45 percent of the variance when predicting retention.”

Locust said although cognition and student involvement have been recognized for a long time as risk indicators for retention, this study highlighted the interaction effect of both. “More importantly, the results suggest that universities may already have critical retention information available -- if they know where to look,” he said.

Those wanting to order the book can go to: It will be available on Amazon and other publishing sites later this month.

Ashland University is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###