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ERIC Number: ED554374
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 260
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-3031-9829-8
Voices from Caribbean Classrooms: The Academic and Lived Experience of Jamaican Nontraditional Female Students in Higher Education
Black-Chen, Marsha
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Northern Illinois University
One of the most notable trends in the last two decades has been the dramatic increase in continuing education among nontraditional-aged females. This study examined the academic and lived experience of women in Jamaica, specifically women who returned to college to further their education. Emphasis was placed on investigating reasons for returning; support received from family; support service within the higher education institution attended; successes, challenges, and strategies for successful academic; and social integration into the higher education environment. This qualitative study was guided by four research questions, using a narrative inquiry and a feminist approach to research to provide findings related to the study. Twenty females were interviewed and the study revealed concepts that are internal to the group, while investigating issues relating to them as a unique population. The literature shows that women dominating higher education in contemporary Jamaican society is intriguing, as the education system built on a Victorian ideology saw it prudent for males to further their education, while not placing much emphasis on women. However, since the 1960s there has been an increase in equality of education opportunities between sexes, and Caribbean girls have taken full advantage of this. In reviewing the literature, it was found that Caribbean students over the age of 21 have created additional challenges for the University of the West Indies, which results in their academic experience being different from that of traditional-aged females. Jamaican scholars have not formally addressed these issues, and as such, there is no literature on nontraditional women, their academic experiences, reasons for return, and the support received from institutions as they pursue their studies. Findings indicate that the participants valued education, had a positive attitude toward returning, and received support from family, but they faced challenges upon returning and integrating into their higher education institution environment, such as physical and psychological pressures, family obligations, and financial difficulties. This research provides information to the various higher education institutions, policy makers, and practitioners, but most importantly, it is an attempt to amplify these women's voices, while understanding the efficacy of this student population. As an exploratory study, this dissertation has laid the foundation for further research on nontraditional/part-time/evening college students in higher education in Jamaica. The responses hold significant implications for future research involving female nontraditional/part-time/evening college students. Recommendations for future study include institutions offering financial options, such as a payment plan, and changes in policy in terms of extending the hours of operation and the teaching style and availability of the academic staff, as returning adults are more discriminating in their educational 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:]
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
Identifiers - Location: Jamaica