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ERIC Number: ED263398
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Nov
Pages: 21
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Older Commuter Students and the Collegiate Experience: Involved or Detached?
Copland-Wood, Barbara A.
A study was conducted at Pennsylvania State University to determine the degree of involvement in college life of commuter students aged 25 or older. A sample was drawn from a list of 1,449 students identified by the university as being 25 or older. From these names, 502 were selected as commuters (living more than five miles from campus) and received a survey form and cover letter. The questionnaire investigated the students' attitudes about the instructional environment, involvement through extracurricular activities, involvement through participation in cultural/entertainment events, and commuter needs. Of the 502 questionnaires, 174 usable surveys were returned. Respondents were about equally divided by sex; 73 percent were between the ages of 25 and 34, while 26 percent were between 35 and 54 years of age. Sixty percent of the sample were full-time students. The contention of Chickering and Astin's earlier studies--that commuter students are less involved, academically and socially, with the college campus--was supported by this study. Older commuter students were less likely to study on campus, were not involved extensively in on- or off-campus organizations, seldom attended campus or off-campus events and were divided about whether they felt a part of the student body. The majority felt detached, even isolated from the mainstream of the campus. However, one part of the study suggested that these students may be involved in a different sense--psychologically rather than physically. The study found that these older students need better parking facilities, more flexible scheduling, more lounges or quiet study areas, and improved communications. The survey instrument is appended. (KC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A