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A Smart Break? College Tenure Interruption and Graduating Student Outcomes

Listed author(s):
  • P. Wesley Routon


    (School of Business Georgia Gwinnett College)

  • Jay K. Walker


    (University Niagara University)

Using data from a longitudinal survey of college students from over 400 institutions, we examine the impacts of occupational internship programs and voluntary academic leave on returning academic achievement, post-college ambitions, and general facets of the college experience. Previous literature on college internships has focused on labor market effects and the literature on academic leave has emphasized its causes. Much less has been done to analyze effects of these occurrences on collegiate outcomes. College internships are found to have a positive effect on grades, increase desires to work full-time or attend graduate school immediately following graduation, and slightly increase ambitions to have administrative responsibilities and be financially well off. Voluntary academic leave is found to have only negative effects on collegiate outcomes, including study habits and academic achievement upon return. Implied policy implications are that colleges and universities should champion internship programs but discourage college tenure interruption for other reasons. © 2015 Association for Education Finance and Policy

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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Education Finance and Policy.

Volume (Year): 10 (2015)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 244-276

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:edfpol:v:10:y:2015:i:2:p:244-276
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  1. Stratton, Leslie S. & O'Toole, Dennis M. & Wetzel, James N., 2008. "A multinomial logit model of college stopout and dropout behavior," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 319-331, June.
  2. Ralph Stinebrickner & Todd R. Stinebrickner, 2003. "Working during School and Academic Performance," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 449-472, April.
  3. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Daniel R. Sherman, 1987. "Employment While in College, Academic Achievement, and Postcollege Outcomes: A Summary of Results," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 22(1), pages 1-23.
  4. DesJardins, Stephen L. & Ahlburg, Dennis A. & McCall, Brian P., 2006. "The effects of interrupted enrollment on graduation from college: Racial, income, and ability differences," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 575-590, December.
  5. Evelyn Lehrer, 2004. "Religiosity as a Determinant of Educational Attainment: The Case of Conservative Protestant Women in the United States," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 203-219, June.
  6. Guido W. Imbens, 2004. "Nonparametric Estimation of Average Treatment Effects Under Exogeneity: A Review," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 4-29, February.
  7. E. Anthon Eff, 2004. "A Flexible-Weights School Effectiveness Index," Working Papers 200403, Middle Tennessee State University, Department of Economics and Finance.
  8. E. Anthon Eff, 2010. "A Scale for Markets and Property in the Societies of the Standard Cross-Cultural Sample: a Linear Programming Approach," Working Papers 201009, Middle Tennessee State University, Department of Economics and Finance.
  9. Marie-Laure Bougnol & José Dulá, 2006. "Validating DEA as a ranking tool: An application of DEA to assess performance in higher education," Annals of Operations Research, Springer, vol. 145(1), pages 339-365, July.
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