Social Integrationist Theory (College Participation Theory)
Social Integrationist Theory, in regards to higher education, considers college participation as a rite of passage. The theory, developed by Vincent Tinto, with previous work from Emile Durkheim and Arnold Van Gennep, has received criticism from researchers such as William Tierney, who suggest that the social integrationist model should not be used to integrate colleges, as it does not rely on institutional or outside factors, and instead depends strictly on the individual.
The theory looks to determine which mechanisms actually integrate students into the higher education environment, as well as how colleges, universities and students are theoretically created. The theory suggests that the more that students are involved in the college environment, the more likely they are to persist.
Reference for further study:
Lu, R. & Liu, E. (2000). Institutional integration: An analysis of tinto's theory. New York: ERIC Clearinghouse. (ERIC No. ED445629).