Explanatory factors of academic dropout in technical professional higher education. A multi-case study in Chilean institutions.

Imagotipo CRIEDO
Any: 2021

Technical and vocational education and training is currently considered a priority and one of the great challenges for Chilean education, as it is conceived as a strategic area for the development of the country. The considerable growth that enrollment in Higher Education as a whole has experienced, has unfortunately been accompanied by alarming dropout rates, a situation that becomes even more complex in a context of a shortage of professional technicians and where research is also scarce. In this framework, this research has aimed to analyze the factors that explain academic dropout in Chilean Technical Professional Higher Education, in a multiple case study where four Chilean Higher Education Institutions that teach professional technical level careers participated, selecting as informants: key managers, teachers and students. This research was carried out following a mixed methodology, using among data collection techniques, individual interviews, focus groups and a questionnaire. The results of the study allow to assert the multi-causality of the dropout phenomenon, as individual, social, academic and institutional factors converge, standing out the high incidence of individual factors in the explanation of dropout and the sociocultural context as conditioning factors for the subsequent performance of the student. Likewise, a particular profile of students who choose this type of training is visualized, characterized by the need to reconcile their different roles (student, worker, father or mother), a situation that entails the imperative of the centers to implement and adjust their support strategies, considering the needs of the student body.

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