ERIC Number: EJ1133023
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Apr
Abstractor: As Provided
Tailoring Retention Theories to Meet the Needs of Rural Appalachian Community College Students
Hlinka, Karen R.
Community College Review, v45 n2 p144-164 Apr 2017
Objective: Traditional-age students attending a rural community college in Kentucky's Appalachian region were interviewed, along with faculty members and administrators, to identify phenomena serving as sources of encouragement or as barriers to retention from the point of entry to the point of transfer. Method: Students' perspectives were collected in a qualitative study and were analyzed using a theoretical foundation of Tinto's integration theory, enhanced with Kegan's cognitive development theory and Bourdieu's concepts of capital, habitus, and field. Results: Findings revealed three major factors affecting decision-making processes about persistence: (a) community's and family's values of education provide the essential "push" to attend and complete college, (b) students are challenged with overcoming the "pull" of family obligations, and (c) students struggle to make the cognitive leap necessary to master college-level coursework. Contributions: The results emphasize the importance of each college investing resources to understand the specific needs of that institution's students, students shaped by their region's culture and other defining traits, and customizing retention practices and programs to meet those unique needs. This study also adds to the limited research on persistence in Appalachian community colleges.
Descriptors: Community Colleges, Two Year Colleges, Two Year College Students, College Faculty, Administrators, Student Attitudes, Qualitative Research, Cognitive Development, Decision Making, Rural Areas, Rural Schools, School Holding Power, Academic Persistence, Social Class, Social Integration, Case Studies, College Transfer Students, Semi Structured Interviews
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Kentucky
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A