Low Student Retention: Interview Questions

The research aims to determine whether social skills correlate with the low retention observed in Ghanaian Universities. Researchers highlight that personal factors are often determinant factors in students’ decision to leave academic institutions (Ertem & Gokalp, 2019). Moreover, a lack of social skills has been linked to low academic performance, which may also be relevant in terms of unsatisfactory student retention (Farruggia et al., 2016). The following open-ended question will facilitate an analysis of the relation:

  • How would you describe your social skills when communicating with fellow students and teachers?
  • How would you evaluate the transition from secondary school to higher education in relation to your social skills?
  • How would you describe your social life before and after joining the higher education institution?
  • Have you felt supported and encouraged by teachers and fellow students?
  • Are you a frequent attendant and participant in extracurricular activities?
  • Do you believe informal interactions to be essential factors within your experience as a student?
  • Have you noticed your social life having a negative influence on your academic performance in relation to motivation or information retention?
  • Have you been in a situation when you felt unmotivated to attend school due to personal reasons?
  • Do you find difficulties in interacting with teachers in case you need assistance, an explanation of a topic, or a clarification of a subject discussed in class?
  • Have you ever experienced discouragement in attending classes because of conflicts or anxiety related to fellow students and/or teachers?

The aforementioned questions correlate with the theoretical framework (Student Attrition Model (SAM) and the Student Integration Models (SIM)) as they relate to attrition in relation to interaction with faculty and fellow students, as well as the ability to adapt to a new environment.


Ertem, H. Y., & Gokalp, G. (2019). Role of personal and organizational factors on student attrition from graduate education: A mixed-model research. Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice, 23(4), 903–928.

Farruggia, S. P., Han, C.-woo, Watson, L., Moss, T. P., & Bottoms, B. L. (2016). Noncognitive factors and college student success. Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice, 20(3), 308–327.