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ERIC Number: ED522003
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 141
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1241-3659-2
The First Year Experience Course at Community Colleges: Student and Faculty Perceptions of Essential Curriculum
Ellison, Rebecca A.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Missouri - Saint Louis
The purpose of this study is to explore the perceptions of students and faculty of pertinent curriculum in a first-year experience course at community colleges. Research has shown that a first-year experience course can help improve retention and increase persistence. Many four-year and two-year institutions offer first-year experience courses, but the curriculum and style of delivery is not standardized. Little research has been conducted as to retention and persistence effects at community colleges and very little of the research involves curriculum for this course. None of the research found has clearly explored the perceptions of faculty or students with regard to curriculum. In order to discover the perceptions of students and faculty, focus groups were conducted. Groups were homogeneous and comprised of the following: first-year, traditionally-aged students; first-year, non-traditionally-aged students; second-year, traditionally-aged students; second-year, non-traditionally-aged students; part- and full-time faculty. Data was analyzed using qualitative content analysis in order to find emergent themes, and then the themes were compared and contrasted to a taxonomy of topics developed by Joseph Cuseo (1997). Three of the four primary categories of the taxonomy were evident in the data analysis as well as many of the sub-categories. New sub-categories also emerged as necessary for first-year students. Differences in necessary curriculum of a first-year experience course existed between students and faculty as well as between traditionally- and non-traditionally-aged students. Identifying the topics for the curriculum perceived as necessary by students and faculty will assist in the development of a specific curriculum for community colleges. This will then aid future development of first-year experience courses at community colleges that better serve the different needs of these students. [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