ERIC Number: ED313089
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Oct-20
Reference Count: 0
Survey of Enrollment Decisions of Virginia Community College Students.
Honnold, Julie A.; Keeter, Scott
In 1989, a study was conducted to examine the influence of student demographics (e.g., age, race, and year of high school graduation) and student enrollment characteristics (e.g., full-/part-time and new/continuing) on enrollment trends in Virginia community colleges. Telephone interviews were conducted with a representative sample of 601 students, soliciting information about the importance of various factors and goals in their decision to attend a community college, their educational plans, high school background, applications to four-year colleges, and perceptions of relative college costs. Study findings included the following: (1) 88% or more regarded acquiring basic skills, gaining a sense of personal accomplishment, acquiring general knowledge, and preparing for a career or occupation as "very" or "somewhat" important; (2) those in the youngest age group (17-21 years) were most likely to consider transfer to a four-year institution as "very important" in their decision to attend a community college, while the oldest age group (35+ years) was most interested in gaining a sense of personal accomplishment; (3) two-thirds of the respondents considered course and program availability, quality of teaching, and location to be "very important" factors in their choice of college; (4) location and cost were "very important" to more returning students than to new/transfer students; (5) 49% planned to complete a community college program and 35% thought it would take 1 year or less while 37% thought it would take 2 years; (6) one-third indicated that they had applied to a four-year school, and part-time students were more likely than full-time students to have been accepted; and (7) over 80% perceived community colleges as less costly than four-year public or private institutions. Appended to the study are analyses of survey responses broken down by student characteristics, responses to open-ended questions, the survey instrument, and a sample size and sample error chart. (VVC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires; Numerical/Quantitative Data
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Virginia State Council of Higher Education, Richmond.
Authoring Institution: Virginia Commonwealth Univ., Richmond. Survey Research Lab.