Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xii

The early stages of research for this book were supported by the Multicultural Enrichment Grant Program at Columbia College Chicago. A grant from that program enabled me to create, with Kilian McCurrie, the Student Faculty Partnership for Success program, which partnered faculty members for one year with...

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Introduction: Paying Attention to the Discourse of Retention in Higher Education

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pp. 1-30

In the fall of 2008, my two sections of first-year writing were positively electric with the excitement of the campaign and ultimately the election of Barack Obama. I had designed the course to tap into that fall’s election, and I enjoyed teaching these two...

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1. A Story of Retention Research

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pp. 31-51

Helen is one of the toughest students I’ve ever taught. By this I mean that, at times, her demeanor is tough. Her language is tough. And she would admit parts of her background are pretty tough, too. I also mean she is probably one of the brightest,...

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2. The Seduction and Betrayal of the Discourse of Retention

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pp. 52-82

I have begun to understand that students leaving my college before they graduate is less a problem I need to solve and more an occasion for me to be creative, an opportunity to invent meaningful pedagogical responses to the unique forces circulating...

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3. The Possibility of Failure

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pp. 83-105

If you do a search in Amazon for books with the keyword failure, the vast majority of titles are about success: The Power of Failure: 27 Ways to Turn Life’s Setbacks into Success; Famous Failures: Hundreds of Hot Shots Who Got Rejected, Flunked Out, Worked Lousy Jobs, Goofed Up, or Did Time in Jail Before Becoming a Phenomenal...

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4. Beyond Retention

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pp. 106-134

My argument throughout this book has been that trying to prevent students from leaving our colleges and universities before they graduate is ineffective at best: an institution can simply do very little, if anything to address the complicated reasons surrounding students’ leaving, the fact that students’ chances...

References

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pp. 135-141

About the Author

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pp. 142-142

Index

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pp. 143-144