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ERIC Number: ED546525
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 123
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2676-8004-4
Never Too Late to Finish: Understanding Adult Student Perceptions at a For-Profit Bachelor Degree Granting Institution
Palmer, Jacqueline M.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania
This qualitative study explores adult students' perceptions of how they were able to successfully complete their bachelor's degree at a for-profit institution, despite the many challenges previously presented in their pursuit of postsecondary education. Through this phenomenological study, the voices of the adult students who have obtained their bachelor's degree address the following research question: What forces influence persistence to bachelor's-degree completion among successful adult students attending a for-profit university? The following subquestions are also addressed: 1. What are students' perceptions of the experiences that led them to attend the institution? 2. How do successful adult students describe the process of overcoming any challenges experienced in their baccalaureate-degree pursuit at the university? 3. What are students' perceptions of the personal attributes that have fostered their successful completion of a baccalaureate degree? 4. What are students' perceptions of the attributes of the institution that have fostered their successful completion of a baccalaureate degree? The literature reflects that almost half the student population is increasingly turning to alternative pathways to obtain a baccalaureate degree, and many are finding success at for-profit institutions. The literature addressing persistence efforts at for-profit institutions is limited. This study attempts to fill this void in the literature through the voices of the adult students who successfully obtained their bachelor's degree. The following four themes emerged from the participants' responses as the forces influencing their persistence to successful bachelor's degree completion: (a) individual attributes, (b) institutional attributes, (c) support systems, and (d) key strategies for success (which includes advice for struggling students). The study also seeks to provide public policy implications to enhance persistence efforts for adults attending a for-profit institution. [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: Adult Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A