2nd Edition

College Students in the United States Characteristics, Experiences, and Outcomes

By Kristen A. Renn, Robert D. Reason Copyright 2021
    276 Pages
    by Routledge

    276 Pages
    by Routledge

    In this book, the authors bring together in one place essential information about college students in the US in the 21st century. Synthesizing existing research and theory, they present an introduction to studying student characteristics, college choice and enrollment patterns, institutional types and environments, student learning, persistence, and outcomes of college.

    Substantially revised and updated, this new edition addresses contemporary and anticipated student demographics and enrollment patterns, a wide variety of campus environments (such as residential, commuter, online, hybrid), and a range of outcomes including learning, development, and achievement.

    The book is organized around Alexander Astin’s Inputs-Environment-Outputs (I-E-O) framework. Student demographics, college preparation, and enrollment patterns are the "inputs." Transition to college and campus environments are the substance of the "environment." The "outputs" are student development, learning, and retention/persistence/completion.

    The authors build on this foundation by providing relevant contemporary information and analysis of students, environments, and outcomes. They also provide strategies for readers to project forward in anticipation of higher education trends in a world where understanding "college students in the United States" is an ongoing project. By consolidating foundational and new research and theory on college students, their experiences, and college outcomes in the US, the book provides knowledge to inform policies, programs, curriculum and practice.

    As a starting point for those who seek a foundational understanding of the diversity of students and institutions in the US, the book includes discussion points, learning activities, and further resources for exploring the topics in each chapter.



    Part One: Inputs

    1. Characteristics of College Students in the United States

    2. The College Choice Process

    3. Student Enrollment Patterns

    Part Two: Environments

    4. Transition to College

    5. College Environments

    6. College Student Learning and Development

    Part Three: Outcomes

    7. Retention and Persistence

    8. Student Outcomes

    9. Serving College Students in the United States Today and Tomorrow


    About the Authors



    Robert D. Reason is Professor of Student Affairs and Higher Education at Iowa State University. From 2003 to 2011, he was on the faculty in the College of Education at Penn State University, where he also held an appointment as Senior Research Associate in Penn State’s Center for the Study of Higher Education. His research has been published in The Journal of College Student Development, Research in Higher Education, and The Review of Higher Education. He currently serves as Associate Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs in the College of Human Sciences at Iowa State University.

    "True to its purpose, College Students in the United States provides foundational information about college student diversity accessible to new and experienced higher education scholars and practitioners. Every college and university student success initiative that strives to be evidence-based and data-informed should take advantage of this comprehensive and concise synthesis of research framed by a classic assessment model to ensure their efforts truly make a difference for all students."

    Jillian Kinzie, Associate Director, Center for Postsecondary Research - Indiana University Bloomington

    "This updated text deepens our understanding of college students in the United States, for example, the authors’ inclusion of digital/screen time on learning and internet accessibility. Their inclusion of the pandemic, racial/social justice movement, and understanding of multiple identities and intersections are vital as they will have lasting implications on higher education."

    Stephanie J. Waterman, Associate Professor and Coordinator, Student Development/Student Services Stream, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education - University of Toronto

    "The second edition of College Students in the United States provides new and updated information about processes that affect students. From choosing where to attend to retention strategies at the institution, this book provides both theoretical and practical information to help administrators and those studying higher education. Each chapter ends with implications for students, institutions, and policy – making the material informative and useful to various levels of expertise, including college students while in college."

    Vasti Torres, Professor and Chair, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies - Indiana University Bloomington

    "Using an anti-deficit framework that resists seeing college students as problems in need of fixing, College Students in the United States is a timely read. The authors emphasize that students are not monolithic and leave readers with a wealth of knowledge about the different environments in which college students are situated. The hallmarks of the book are the discussion questions and learning activities at the conclusion of each chapter, providing readers with a generous roadmap for supporting 21st-century college students."

    Stephen John Quaye, Associate Professor, Department of Educational Studies - The Ohio State University