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ERIC Number: ED514753
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 127
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1097-1226-1
Students' Perceptions of Baccalaureate Completion Programs at Community Colleges: A Qualitative Study
Schmitigal, Linda
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Central Michigan University
The purpose of this research is to understand the perceptions of baccalaureate-seeking, community college students regarding their academic preparation as they transfer to university courses. The literature supports both the need to help students persist to baccalaureate degrees and the difficulty transfer students face in this process. However, the literature does not directly address the challenges faced by those students who seek completion degrees offered by universities on community college campuses. This research helps fill the gap in the literature and provides strategies to help these students persist toward their academic goals. To further understand the challenges facing students who complete baccalaureate degrees on community college campuses, going directly to the students who share the same experience was considered the best method. Therefore, a qualitative study was selected as it allowed the researcher the opportunity to delve deeply into students' perceptions. Students from community colleges currently enrolled in university completion degree programs were selected to participate in one-on-one interviews. This allowed access to students with the intent to learn about their experience. Both Tinto's Theory of Individual Departure and Pace's Concept of Quality of Effort provide support for interview questions and allow the findings to be related to the literature. The findings of this research provide community colleges and universities with strategies and suggestions to help improve student retention. Four general themes emerged from the data which highlighted the issues and concerns of the participants: first, the perceived differences in courses and faculty expectations between community colleges and universities; second, the changes in academic strategies these completion students employed; third, the students' transfer shock experiences; and fourth, the academic resources used by students. The implications of these findings provide information to university faculty and administrators and community college faculty and administrators when creating and maintaining articulation agreements. Because these agreements are critical to the academic success and persistence of transfer students at the community college, the findings of this research provide important information about completion students' perceptions of their academic preparation and their success factors. These are helpful for faculty and administrators as they create or update existing articulation agreements. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A