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ERIC Number: ED569251
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 158
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3395-5054-1
Phenomenological Analysis of the Experiences of Underprepared College Students Who Persist
Larsen, Mary Jo
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Seattle Pacific University
This study examined the experiences of six college participants who entered college with many risk-factors for drop-out, but who persisted to graduation. The present research was conducted at a private, liberal arts university. All participants possessed multiple risk factors for drop-out including low high school academic performance, first-generation status, racial/ethnic minority status, and/or low socio-economic status. The present study used qualitative phenomenological methods to investigate the participants' persistence. Participants described both their high school and college experiences providing a comprehensive portrait of their pre-college experiences and characteristics, selection behavior, and personal route to degree attainment. Participants' descriptions reveal six themes significant to their experience of college and persistence: a) relationships, b) faculty role, c) goal of college completion, d) resilience, e) significant learning, and f) achievement motivation beliefs. Within these themes, the salient goal of college completion was critical to participant persistence in enduring three main challenges: academic rigor, overall workload and multiple commitments, and initial academic major selection mismatched to their individual interests and strengths. [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; High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A