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Vincent Tinto to Speak at De Anza in Spring 2014

Completing College: Rethinking Institutional ActionLinC (Learning in Communities) will host a talk by Vincent Tinto, noted author, researcher and advocate of “first-time college students,” on Friday, May 2, from 10 a.m. to noon in the Media and Learning Center, room 105.

Tinto's research documents how those working in higher education can better assist students as they move toward their goal of completing college, which is the subject of his latest book, Completing College: Rethinking Institutional Action.

Completing College features data and anecdotes about De Anza's LinC program

This long awaited volume details years of educational research by Professor Tinto and his team form Syracuse University. The book centers on four conditions which enable students to succeed and go forward in college. 

The De Anza LinC program has participated in two of these long term research projects, which included the analysis of statistical data gathered from the students in our LinC learning communities as well as following several students through their educational experiences using in depth interviews conducted over a period of several years.

Group of studentsThe LinC program is highlighted in an extended example of a Learning Communities program that succeeds with students who enter the program at basic skills levels. The story of the LinC Program is the featured example describing what the author labels as the fourth and "most important" condition for student retention — Involvement.  

In addition, the LinC program is mentioned in several short examples throughout the book as well as by quotes from some of the students who were interviewed during the research. 

LinC is one of many successful De Anza Learning Communities programs.

Continue reading for more information about Tinto's book and biography.

Current Research, Newest Publication

For more than 20 years, Dr. Tinto has studied improving retention rates and how colleges can insure that their students succeed. His first book, Leaving College, is recognized as a major resource on student retention. His second book discusses conditions for supporting students through the completion of college. Copies of both books are available in the Staff and Organizational Development Office.

“In Completing College, Vincent Tinto lays out in clear and compelling terms the actions that colleges and universities can and must take to ensure that larger numbers of their students succeed. The improvement agenda must be about fixing institutions, not fixing students; and Tinto describes the conditions necessary—conditions that institutions can intentionally create.

Perhaps most importantly, Tinto notes that colleges typically have arrayed their retention initiatives around the margins of the institution, thus forfeiting the enormous potential that lies in the purposeful redesign of students’ classroom experiences. Here, in a timely and concrete fashion, he offers evidence-based strategies that focus institutional and faculty energy where it matters most.” 

~Kay McClenney, Center for Community College Student Engagement, University of Texas at Austin

“Deftly distilling an enormous amount of research, Tinto identifies the essential conditions for enabling students to succeed and continue on within institutions. He shows that, especially during the early years, students thrive in settings that pair high expectations for success with structured academic, social and financial support, provide frequent feedback and assessments of their performance, and promote active involvement with other students and faculty.

And while these conditions may be worked on and met at different institutional levels, Tinto points to the classroom as the center of student education and life, and therefore the primary target for institutional action.

Improving retention rates continues to be among the most widely studied fields in higher education and Completing College carefully synthesizes the latest research and, most importantly, translates it into practical steps that administrators can take to enhance student success.”   

~From the book jacket for Completing College: Rethinking Institutional Action, University of Chicago Press, 2012

Vincent Tinto Biography

Vincent TintoProfessor Tinto received his Ph.D. in education and sociology from The University of Chicago. He is currently Distinguished University Professor at Syracuse University and chair of the higher education program. He has carried out research and has written extensively on higher education, particularly on student retention and the impact of learning communities on student growth and attainment.

He has consulted widely with Federal and State agencies, with independent research firms, foundations, and with two and four-year institutions of higher education on a broad range of higher educational issues, not the least of which concern the retention and education of students in higher education.

He serves on the editorial boards of several journals and with various organizations and professional associations concerned with higher education. He chaired the national panel responsible for awarding $5 million to establish the first national center for research on teaching and learning in higher education and served as Associate Director of the $6 million National Center on Postsecondary Teaching, Learning, and Assessment funded by the U.S. Office of Education.

As a member of the Pathways to College Network he is currently engaged in a national effort to increase access to college. He also works with the Council for Opportunity in Education, the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Education, the European Access Network, and the Dutch government to develop programs to promote access to higher education for disadvantaged youth in Europe. His current research, funded by grants from the Lumina Foundation for Education and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation focuses on the impact of learning communities on the academic achievements of under-prepared college students in urban two and four-year colleges.

For more information, contact Matt Abrahams, LinC Program co-coordinator at or 408.864.8534.

This event is co-sponsored by the Office of Instruction, LinC (Learning in Communities), IMPACT AAPI, and Professional and Organizational Development.

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Last Updated: 3/28/14