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ERIC Number: ED522765
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 180
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1243-3826-2
High School Student Perceptions of Community Colleges: The Role of Personal, Institutional, and Environmental Factors in the College Choice Process
Morciglio, Jean F.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Michigan State University
This study sought to explain how high school seniors across the United States think about community colleges in the context of the college choice process. The study described what attributes are associated with the community college experience and what influences those attributes. Since a weak college choice process can contribute to later performance problems, a better understanding of the community college within the choice process should mean less talent lost, fewer college dropouts, and a more efficient use of resources by both individuals and institutions. This study focused on perceptions about community colleges and the environmental, personal, and institutional factors that influence such perceptions. The study involved an analysis of closed- and open-ended questions from a survey of over 36,000 college-bound high school students, and addressed the question: "What attributes, values, and influences can help explain perceptions about expected experiences at community colleges within the context of the college choice process?" The study results indicated that geographic region, income, race, and academic preparation all had an impact on serious consideration of a community college as an option during the college choice process. In addition, different racial and income groups perceived community college attributes differently. For example, lower-middle income students had an unusual aversion to the community college, while higher income students indicated a high overall favorability of community colleges. A large number of respondents did not see the community college as a transition away from their home and high school, and for many this perception was tied to academic reputation. Emotional attachment, developmental growth, and social network appeared more important than affordability to respondents considering a community college. Environmental and personal factors played significant roles in influencing perceptions held about community colleges. [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