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ERIC Number: ED519062
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 219
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1240-5153-6
English Language Learner Engagement and Retention in a Community College Setting
Almon, Cate
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Temple University
This multi-method study explored English Language Learner (ELL) enrollment and engagement in a community college to address a dearth of research on ELL retention in this context. Quantitative analyses were performed on four fall semester transcripts of ELLs (N = 161) and on samples of ELLs and non-ELLs (n = 139) matching in age, enrollment status, and race/ethnicity. Quantitative analyses were also performed on The Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) instrument for another set of ELLs (N = 45) and matched samples of ELLs and non-ELLs (n = 34). Qualitative analyses of interviews with a third set of ELLs (N = 28) were also conducted. Results suggest that ELLs overall do well as implied by their high GPAs and engagement scores, yet most do not persist long enough to complete the ESL program or graduate. GPAs were well above the minimum for graduation (2.00) and significantly higher (p less than 0.05) than the non-ELLs. ELLs scored higher than the nation in all five benchmarks, and significantly higher than the non-ELLs in the support for learners benchmark. However, even though the majority of ELLs expressed that they wanted an associate's degree, only 43% successfully exit the ESL program and 13% graduate from the college. The graduation rate is significantly less (p less than 0.05) than college (23%) and nation (25%). To explain, certain groups presented higher risk. Students who began in lower levels of ESL were five times less likely to complete the ESL program (p less than 0.05). Nontraditionally aged ELLs had lower GPAs, persisted fewer fall semesters, and graduated less than their counterparts (all significant at p less than 0.05). Also found were risk factors to which students attribute their leaving college: lack of finances, full time work, and family obligations. Interviews revealed implicit risk factors of linguistic challenges and their ELL status at the college, both of which affected their engagement, as well as a lack of procedural knowledge for navigating US colleges that could enable their retention. Students who persist, graduate, or transfer attribute this success to seeking tutoring and investing extra effort. Implications for practice and research are given. [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:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A