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ERIC Number: ED548051
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 229
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2673-6811-9
Perceptions of the College Experience Held by Life Partners of Rural, Nontraditionally-Aged, First-Generation Community College Students
Methvin, Jennifer
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Walden University
Rural community colleges serve a large population of nontraditional, first-generation students, many of whom encounter obstacles to degree completion. A life partner who cohabits with a college student impacts the perceptions and actions of that student. However, a gap in research exists about the experiences and perceptions of those life partners. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to provide a composite description of the experience of being the life partner of, cohabiting with, and communicating with a rural, adult, first-generation college student. The conceptual frameworks of the study were field theory and social capital. The primary research questions examined how life partners perceived the college-going experience and communicated with the student about those experiences. Data were collected through one questionnaire and two interviews with each participant, and the data were analyzed using transcendental-phenomenological reduction methodologies. Findings document that life partners experienced new family and relational roles, a perceived transformation of the student, a willingness to make sacrifices so the student can be successful, a prominent concern about financial considerations, continual consideration of the impact of college scheduling on the life partner and student, and a need to balance the school and work relationship. These experiences paradoxically were sometimes positive and sometimes negative for life partners and, from their perspectives, for the students. Information about the phenomenon will positively impact the retention and degree completion rates of this at-risk student population by allowing policymakers to design a comprehensive student support system to support rural households and family units, not just students, in negotiating the college experience. [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; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A