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ERIC Number: EJ1059985
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1551-0670
Tensions Impacting Student Success in a Rural Community College
Hlinka, Karen R.; Mobelini, Deronda C.; Giltner, Terri
Journal of Research in Rural Education, v30 n5 2015
This article describes a qualitative study examining factors influencing the decision-making processes of traditional-age students living in rural, southeastern Kentucky as they progress toward acquiring a bachelor's degree using the community college as a steppingstone. Specifically, this study explored students' perspectives of the factors that serve as barriers and as sources of encouragement, impacting decision making at critical steps of students' academic pathways. Our research team divided this project into three key transition points: (a) high school seniors' decisions to attend a community college as a means to acquire a bachelor's degree, (b) community college students' decisions that promote persistence to the transfer point, and (c) community college students' decisions in choosing a specific transfer university. Three areas of conflicting demands that impact students' decision making about academics and place them at risk for long-term success emerged: (a) a need for one-on-one attention and support vs. a need for self-reliance, (b) the push of family encouragement vs. a pull of family responsibilities, and (c) a desire to stay in the region vs. a desire to leave. Recognition of these tensions can guide efforts of community college leaders to help students, shaped by their Appalachian culture and other defining traits, to build the skills necessary to complete this leg of their educational journeys.
Penn State University College of Education, Center on Rural Education and Communities. 310B Rackley Building, University Park, PA 16802. Tel: 814-863-2031; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges; High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Kentucky
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A