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Low Socioeconomic Status Men Persisting in College: A Phenomenological Study

Dusten D Crichton, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore and to tell the stories of low socioeconomic status (SES) men in college who persisted beyond the halfway point of college at a Midwestern metropolitan university. Prior research suggested men from low socioeconomic status backgrounds matriculated and persisted in college at the lowest rates of all student populations. Understanding the experiences of those low socioeconomic men who appeared to be succeeding in college was important to understanding how to develop strategies and policies that would support men from low socioeconomic status backgrounds as they progressed through college. Through semi-structured interviews with 11 men from low socioeconomic status backgrounds, the researcher gained insight into how these men saw themselves as men and as a person from a low socioeconomic background and how these identities influenced their persistence through college.^ The research addressed the following central question: How does a man from a low socioeconomic status background, who has persisted beyond 60 hours of college credit, describe his experiences in college? While addressing the central question, the following sub-questions received attention and exploration; (a) How did participants in this study describe the environments or situations that have influenced their experiences as a low-income college student? (b) How did the participants in this study describe the environments or situations that have influenced their experiences as a man in college? (c) How did the participants in this study develop the understanding that they needed to persist beyond the halfway point of college? (d) What emerged as the most important reasons for staying in college beyond the halfway point of college for men who were from low socioeconomic backgrounds?^ The findings described the experiences of the men who participated in this study through five textural (what they experienced) and 11 structural (how they experienced) descriptions. In the end, the participants in this study described experiencing college in a variety of positive and negative ways due to being influenced by their status as an individual from a low-SES background. Ultimately, their desire to change their position as an individual from a low socioeconomic background provided them motivation for succeeding in college.^

Subject Area

Educational leadership|Educational administration|Adult education

Recommended Citation

Crichton, Dusten D, "Low Socioeconomic Status Men Persisting in College: A Phenomenological Study" (2017). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI10681091.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI10681091

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