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ERIC Number: ED548386
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 168
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2673-9845-1
Examining the Relationship between Spirituality and Persistence of Community College Graduates Who Matriculate to the Baccalaureate Degree Granting Institution
Govan, Shawn L.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, National-Louis University
Community college students, more often than not, face challenges not typical to those of traditional-aged students. They are more likely to attend part-time, tend to be the least academically prepared, more financially challenged, often working, and have a greater likelihood of being single parents. What drives these students to not only graduate from the community college, but go on to continue at four-year institutions? Also, how do these students define, or come to "make meaning" of the force that drives their persistence in higher education? The purpose of this study examines the relationship between spirituality and persistence of Illinois community college students who matriculate to the baccalaureate degree granting institution. The research questions ask the following: (1) "How is spirituality defined by community college students who persist?", (2) "For community college students who persist, how do they come to 'make meaning' of their educational journey?", and (3) "What is the relationship between spirituality and community college student persistence?" The study utilized qualitative case study methodology employing three separate phases: (1) Survey Questionnaire, (2) Guided Focus Group Discussion, and (3), Face-to-Face Interviews. Responses from the survey questionnaire were coded, further segmented and used to determine those survey participants who would receive invitations for the guided focus group discussion. The guided focus group discussion was recorded and conversation transcribed so that the researcher might establish recurring patterns and emerging themes. From those focus group discussion participants, three participants were selected to take part in the face-to-face interview portion of the study. Persistence at community colleges is an issue of great importance to the field of higher education and society at large as these institutions produce more than half of the nation's workforce. Scholars and theorists now challenge student affairs professionals to examine the role that spirituality plays in the lives of college students. Research suggests that spirituality serves as a motivator, provides students with strength, and also provides them with a sense of purpose. It further affirms that spirituality aids college students in their ability to understand the world around them and may play a significant role in their decision to persist. Therefore, it may behoove student affairs professionals to become aware and more sensitive to the concept of spirituality and spiritual development. In doing so, students are provided with evidence that this aspect of their lives as a whole person-multidimensional, multifaceted human beings, is important to not only them, but also those professionals given the charge to aid in their development at the 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: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A