Study of voluntary resignation by female midshipmen from the Naval Academy
Mitchell, Monica E.
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The attrition rate of midshipmen at the Naval Academy is higher for women than for men. This thesis examines the voluntary resignation of female midshipmen from the Naval Academy. Specifically, the study focuses on theories of college student attrition that are based on data from traditional civilian universities. Data obtained from the Naval Academy's Institutional Research Department was analyzed. In addition, in-depth interviews were conducted with 15 female midshipmen and the Chair of the Women Midshipmen Study Group. The interviews were supplemented by statements made in resignation letters. Results of quantitative and qualitative analysis show that a greater number of factors likely influence a female midshipman's decision to voluntarily leave the Naval Academy than a student's decision to leave a traditional civilian university. A major finding drawn from correlation testing on MBTI personality types revealed that the "active" personality type characterized as being the most suited with the military officer profession is highly correlated with voluntary attrition. This personality type is the most represented in the population of female midshipmen. Recommendations addressed several areas of possible improvement and proposed further research regarding female and male midshipmen and voluntary attrition.
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