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ERIC Number: ED534740
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 223
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1249-7105-6
Reaching for the Goal: The Persistence and Engagement of Vocational Students in a Community College
Pham, Hoa
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of California, Irvine
Occupational students constitute the majority of enrollments at community colleges; yet little is known whether students in career and technical programs persist in their education and attain degrees in their program of study. The purpose of this study was to examine the levels of engagement of students enrolled in vocational programs at one community college and examine how it impacts their persistence decisions. This quantitative study explored the relationship between engagement variables and demographic variables to determine if these variables can be used as predictors of students' intent to enroll during the upcoming school year using a non-experimental correlational research design. A secondary data analysis of an existing Community College Survey of Student Engagement dataset (N = 1,024) was used to analysis only vocational/technical respondents (n = 314). Descriptive statistics, correlational analyses, and a series of logistic regressions were conducted to investigate the contributions of multiple independent variables (engagement and demographic) on the dependent variable of persistence. The results for a sample of occupational students at this community college appeared to indicate that engagement and demographic variables were not statistically significant predictors of student's intent to enroll. "Individual" (not "composite") engagement variables were also examined and two variables: (1) Preparing two or more drafts of a paper and (2) Number of books read on their own (not assigned), were shown to have a negative statistical significance; both represented a small effect size. In additional, two individual demographic variables: (1) Source of funding education (small to medium effect size) and (2) Father's education (large effect size) were shown to be significant predictors of student's intent to persist. Study illuminates the importance of institutions to further examine how engagement may be viewed differently for occupational students. As such, the multifaceted nature of student engagement, coupled with the diversity of goals of occupational/technical students may warrant more than quantitative surveys to capture the optimal approach to helping vocational students to reach their goals. [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