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ERIC Number: EJ833905
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 15
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 29
Adult Re-Entry Students: Experiences Preceding Entry into a Rural Appalachian Community College
Genco, Jessica T.
Inquiry, v12 n1 p47-61 Spr 2007
Mountain Empire Community College (MECC)'s service region covers the extreme southwestern corner of Virginia and includes four counties and one city: Dickenson, Lee, Scott, and Wise Counties, and the city of Norton. With a service region population of 93,000 residents, MECC currently serves over 5,000 students annually (Mountain Empire Community College, 2005). Like most community college students, a majority of MECC students bring challenges that may impede their academic success. Many are first-generation students for whom higher education is a new experience. Additionally, many are functioning within multiple roles of work, family, community, and school. This qualitative study sought to gain knowledge about the life transitions and experiences of college re-entry students at MECC, so the researcher explored the types of life transitions of adult learners and examined how these experiences impacted re-entry students at MECC. Qualitative research techniques, particularly the phenomenological approach, were used in this study. Purposeful sampling, a dominant strategy in qualitative inquiry, was employed and guided by a criterion of the participants who were adult re-entry students of ages 25 or older and who entered MECC after having been separated from an educational setting for at least five years. There are several conclusions than can be drawn based on the research questions posed in the study. Similar to research by Aslanian (1989), Kasworm et al. (2002), and Schlossberg (1984), a common theme in the decision for adults to return to higher education was the experience of a life transition especially that of job displacement. The transition to college can be wrought with apprehension. Some students stated they felt that age interfered with their ability to interact with traditional-aged students and affected their ability to be academically successful. After a period, the participants found those fears unfounded. (Contains 1 table.)
Virginia Community Colleges Association and Virginia Community College System. 101 North 14th Street, Richmond, VA 23219. Tel: 804-819-4666; Fax: 804-819-4771; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Virginia