ERIC Number: ED454917
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Dec
A Portrait of Traditional-Age Students at a Rural Community College.
MacMichael, Mary Susan
This study used qualitative research methods to construct a portrait of students between the ages of 18 and 24 who chose to attend a rural community college. Lengthy interviews were conducted with 12 volunteer participants throughout their first year of college, and in some cases continued into their second year, to gather data about their college-going decisions, including responses about the people, events, and information that led them to choose that college. The data also includes information about the first year experiences of the participants, their financial concerns, and their later evaluation of the decision to attend college. Tinto's Longitudinal Model of Institutional Departure was used as a theoretical framework to analyze the interview data. Results included: (1) the participants were found to be very diverse in all three of Tinto's pre-entry attributes--family background, skills and abilities, and prior schooling; (2) the students' pre-entry attribute of family background was found to be an important factor in their decision to attend the community college, and their family background also strongly affected the other two pre-entry attributes; and (3) students whose families had relocated several times during the students' public school years experienced difficulty maintaining the academic credits and continuity needed to prepare an extended college search. (Contains 97 references.) (JA)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Doctor of Philosophy Dissertation, Arizona State University.