Online learning has become a reality for many students in postsecondary education. However, the dropout rates for online learners are proportionally higher than for on-campus learners. This quantitative study compared retention rates among California community college students with different racial/ethnic backgrounds, gender, and age to determine if the types of interactions, as provided in different instructional methods, play a role in achieving higher retention rates. The three instructional methods under investigation included synchronous online courses with the opportunity for immediate interactions, asynchronous online courses with the opportunity for delayed interactions, and on-campus classes with the traditional forms of interactions. The results of the analyses revealed that retention rates between on-campus and online students tended to be significantly larger for some racial/ethnic and age groups, as well as for male students in the asynchronous learning environment when compared with the synchronous online setting. Those students who have the opportunity to communicate promptly with instructors and peers are more likely to persist than those students who must wait for a response. Therefore, one strategy to help increase retention in online courses is to provide students with increased immediate interaction by promoting a strong sense of community through the Community of Inquiry (CoI). Keywords: Retention Rates, Instructional Methods, Asynchronous Online, Synchronous Online, Ethnicity, Gender, Age Groups, CCC Confer, Blackboard Collaborate, California Community Colleges, Interaction, Community of Inquiry Model.