Off-campus UNL users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your NU ID and password. When you are done browsing please remember to return to this page and log out.

Non-UNL users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Transition to College: Nonacademic Factors that Influence Persistence for Underprepared Community College Students

Ann Paulson, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

Community colleges provide access to higher education for a broad range of students. The majority require "remedial" coursework in reading, writing and, especially, math. Most students who begin with this remedial coursework do not go on to earn a certificate or degree. Low levels of college graduation have high direct cost, adversely affect the U.S. economy and contribute to socioeconomic inequity. ^ The literature review shows that both academic and nonacademic factors influence both completion of remedial coursework and completion of first year in college. It introduces research on a variety of strategies for increasing completion and persistence for underprepared students. ^ The purpose of this ex post facto study was to identify nonacademic factors that may influence the ability of underprepared, community college students to transition into college-level work and the extent to which these factors could be used to predict persistence. Logistic regression was used to analyze the effect of gender, race/ethnicity, age, enrollment status (full- or part-time), receipt of financial aid, family status and purpose. Each factor was evaluated with the other six factors held constant. The dependent variable was the completion of 15 college-level credits. The population for this study was students in the Washington State system of 34 community colleges. Records for 15,177 students were considered. ^ The findings reflected that at least one category in each of the seven variables had a statistically significant relationship with persistence at the .05 level. The best predictor of student success in transition was enrollment status (full- or part-time) followed by race/ethnicity, gender, receipt of financial aid and family status. The findings are significant because they direct further research into the factors and experiences that influence success, and point toward practices to address gaps.^

Subject Area

Education, Community College|Education, Higher Education Administration|Education, Higher

Recommended Citation

Paulson, Ann, "Transition to College: Nonacademic Factors that Influence Persistence for Underprepared Community College Students" (2012). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3546033.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3546033

Share

COinS