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ERIC Number: ED552055
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 177
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-2678-7919-6
Community College Students' Self-Reports of Persistence: Looking beyond Student Satisfaction Ratings of Persisters and Nonpersisters
Cole, Marsha Dee
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Capella University
Approximately 30% of students who persist to the end of their courses at two-year colleges do not do so with a passing grade, yet research on the educational experiences of these unsuccessful community college persisters remains limited. The purpose of this explanatory mixed-methods study was threefold. First, this study attempted to identify differences and similarities between successful and unsuccessful persisters based upon ratings of satisfaction for the following social-constructivist learning practices: student-faculty interactions and feedback; clarity of course expectations; and the availability of learning environments that were deemed inclusive and collaborative. Second, this study attempted to identify the reasons why unsuccessful persisters perceived they were not meeting with success. Last, this study attempted to identify characteristics of instruction and learning activities that successful students perceived as contributing to the successful completion of their courses. Themes emerging from the qualitative segment of this study centered on student-faculty relations, feedback provided to and solicited from students, and specific course characteristics such as clarity of instructional materials and course organization. This study found a significant difference between persisters' and nonpersisters' perceptions of Instructor Feedback; however, no other significant differences between persisters and nonpersisters on the study's other subscales were found. Percentage of courses dropped was significantly correlated with Preparedness for Level of Work Required ("r" = -0.16, "p" < 0.05) such that as the percentage of courses dropped decreased, Preparedness for Level of Work Required increased. The implications for current instructional practices are discussed and include the need to identify more effective ways of communicating course expectations and feedback in both discipline specific and developmental courses. Recommendations for future studies include performing more in-depth analyses of how students interpret the usefulness of the feedback they receive and their use of the feedback to improve their performance. [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