ERIC Number: ED411933
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Beating the Odds: Reasons for At-Risk Student Success at Community College of Philadelphia. Institutional Research Report No. 93.
A study was undertaken at the Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) to understand why some at-risk students are able to beat the odds and achieve educational success while others are not. The theoretical underpinnings for this research draw from psychological, societal, and institution-specific models of student persistence. All 1996 CCP graduates were surveyed and asked if they ever considered dropping out of college. About half returned surveys, and of the respondents, 27% had considered dropping out. A questionnaire explored personality traits, economic factors, and institutional experiences students perceived as affecting their progress towards graduation. Aspects of personality such as confidence, discipline, and perseverance, as well as encouragement of faculty and other students, greatly influenced degree completion. Discouraging institutional experiences included rude treatment by staff, unavailability of courses, and ineffective course advisement. A focus group of 12 students discussed their personal experiences, citing positive in-classroom and out-of-classroom experiences with faculty as integral to their continued enrollment. Detrimental aspects included course-related difficulties and communication problems with faculty. Determination and external factors such as family support also precluded degree completion. The majority of graduates had either obtained jobs or successfully transferred to other institutions of higher education. Contains 12 references. (YKH)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Philadelphia Community Coll., PA.