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ERIC Number: EJ903055
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Dec
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 77
ISSN: ISSN-0361-0365
The Bird's Eye View of Community Colleges: A Behavioral Typology of First-Time Students Based on Cluster Analytic Classification
Bahr, Peter Riley
Research in Higher Education, v51 n8 p724-749 Dec 2010
The development of a typology of community college students is a topic of long-standing and growing interest among educational researchers, policy-makers, administrators, and other stakeholders, but prior work on this topic has been limited in a number of important ways. In this paper, I develop a behavioral typology based on students' course-taking and other enrollment patterns during a seven-year observation period. Drawing on data for a population of 165,921 first-time college students, I identify six clusters of behaviors: "transfer," "vocational," "drop-in," "noncredit," "experimental," and "exploratory." I describe each of these student types in terms of distinguishing course-taking and enrollment behaviors, representation in the first-time student cohort, predominant demographic characteristics, and self-reported academic goal. I test the predictive validity of the classification scheme with respect to long-term academic outcomes. I investigate the relationships between the primary classification scheme and several alternative classification schemes. Finally, I demonstrate the replicability of the classification scheme with an alternate cohort of students. (Contains 6 footnotes and 7 tables.)
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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