ERIC Number: ED383367
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Apr-18
First-Year Student Experiences in Community Colleges: Crossing Borders, Making Connections and Developing Perceptions about Learning.
Jalomo, Romero, Jr.
A study was undertaken to examine the influence of in- and out-of-class experiences on the learning and retention of diverse first-year community college students, examining three critical dynamics of the first-year college experience: the transition to college, student involvement and connections on campus, and the view students form of themselves as learners. Focus group interviews were conducted with 77 White, African-American, Latino, and Asian students attending four community colleges in different states. Students chosen were full-time students completing their first semester in college and were interviewed in groups of 4-6 using a 13 question, open-ended interview protocol. Partial findings were examined for 30 Latino students at two of the community colleges and analyzed with respect to student involvement theory and the four elements of the Bicultural Socialization Model: socialization, identity, cultural forces, and institutional dimensions. Findings for these students included the following: (1) the students had high aspirations, self-initiative, and resilience; (2) obstacles encountered prior to enrollment included low expectations, teachers stereotyping of students, over-socializing in high school, and resistance to academic practices; (3) in terms of making the transition to college, positive aspects were learning interesting and relevant material and meeting new people/making friends, while negative elements were the effect of college on family relations and pre-college friendships; and (4) students who found it difficult to get involved experienced culture-shock and had work and family commitments. (KP)
Descriptors: Academic Persistence, Adjustment (to Environment), College Freshmen, Community Colleges, Cultural Influences, Family Influence, Hispanic Americans, School Holding Power, Student Attitudes, Student Characteristics, Student College Relationship, Two Year College Students, Two Year Colleges
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center on Postsecondary Teaching, Learning, and Assessment, University Park, PA.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 18-22, 1995). For related dissertation, see ED 380 179.