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ERIC Number: ED548327
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 307
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-2673-9573-3
Widening the Lens: Nonresidential College Students' Educational Experiences at an Urban Institution
Passer, Marni
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, New York University
The purpose of this study was to examine the experiences of traditional age, nonresidential students in higher education who, in contrast with their residential peers, are rarely studied in higher education research. As the population of nonresidential students expands, it becomes important to examine nonresidential students' experiences in education. The following research question guided this study: how do traditional aged, nonresidential college students at an urban university describe their college experience? This study employed the qualitative method of semi-structured interviews to gather data concerning the students' experiences, feelings and thoughts. Students participated in three interviews lasting approximately an hour each. Questions in the interview focused on previous school experiences, people who may have impacted the student, relationships on and off-campus, and their experiences as a nonresidential student. The results suggest that the students' experiences differed from many of the residential students currently studied in higher education research. These students attended college as a way to achieve their goals of having a better life, being able to give back to their families, and living a comfortable, meaningful life. They were also highly aware of the many obstacles that stood in their path. They shared their fear of failure, struggles to maintain academic excellence, pressures they felt from their families, and struggles to find themselves and create their adult identities. Students' backgrounds and experiences, particularly family interactions, had a significant impact on their educational experiences and aspirations. This study raised questions for future research regarding how family impacts goal development and choices, the impact of finances on academic performance, the importance of mentoring relationships on campus, and the ways involvement affects educational outcomes for nonresidential students. The study also led to suggestions for higher education practitioners, such as the importance of creating a bridge between secondary and post-secondary education, the creation of learning communities and other small community based groups on campus, the need for clarity and support when dealing with educational financing, and the development of increased opportunities for informal faculty-student contact outside the classroom. [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
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A