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ERIC Number: ED559912
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 133
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3033-4675-0
Lost Boys: A Qualitative Study of Disengaged First-Year Men at the University of Pennsylvania
Herring, April L.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania
The virtue of student engagement in all aspects of college life has been studied extensively throughout higher education. Research demonstrates that engagement in academics and the social aspects of college lead to retention and persistence. Beyond persistence, engagement has been linked to numerous other desirable effects of college. This qualitative phenomenological study uses interviews to explore the experiences of 11 sophomore men who were not engaged in clubs or organizations on campus during their first year of college. Using Braxton, et al.'s (2004) persistence model, an inquiry into students' ability to persist despite their lack of proactive social engagement found that these men have a high level of goal commitment and institutional commitment that led to their persistence. They had expectations for being involved in college, yet few managed to do so. The literature indicates these men should not persist or feel integrated into their college experience; however that was not the case for this group. Additional findings include that while they were academically motivated, they viewed social relationships as occurring through proximity or chance. In addition, these men did not engage in organized structures within the university when they encountered social difficulties, and their support networks usually existed outside of university resources. Their passivity towards social life was also evident in their approach to other aspects of college life, including finding and securing a work-study job and seeking out college resources such as career services. Finally, all these men self-identify as introverts, and this self-assessment kept many from becoming involved; yet all but one felt that they had obtained social integration by their sophomore year. Their preferred social activity consisted of hanging out, and their social structures came about due to the structure of residence halls and classes, or through connections with high school friends who were also students. Many still expressed interest in joining clubs or organizations but had few plans on how to do so. Recommendations include promoting living learning experiences, employing intrusive advising models, training university staff on helping students transfer skills used in successful completion of academic goals into action toward social goals, and building self-awareness activities for introverts. [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
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania