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.

Students' Views of a College Success Course as it Relates to Their Persistence and Success

Hallie Lynn Feil, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Community colleges have recently been challenged to increase completion rates (American Association of Community Colleges, 2012a; College Board, 2008). To answer this call community colleges have developed a number of interventions to facilitate the retention of potentially at-risk students. One intervention is a college success course. The goal of success courses is to provide students with the knowledge and skills to become a successful college student. Research has indicated that students who complete college success courses are more likely to persist to the next semester. It is less clear how or why these courses help students to be successful. The purpose of this study was to employ a phenomenological approach to explore how a college success course improved success and persistence to the next semester among a sample of community college students at a Midwestern community college. Twelve community college students shared their experiences of taking a college success course and how it influenced their persistence. Six themes emerged during the data analysis. The themes indicate that the course had a positive influence, from the participants’ perspective, on both their success and persistence. The participants describe the course as providing them with the knowledge, skills and tools to be successful college students. They seemed enthusiastic and encouraged as a result of their participation in the course. The results of this study are consistent with the literature in terms of success courses having a positive impact on student persistence and success. For the participants of this study, the curriculum of the success course was a primary factor in the extent of usefulness. Community colleges should examine the usefulness of success courses and adapt the course as necessary to meet the needs of their respective student constituencies.

Subject Area

Community college education|Education|Higher education

Recommended Citation

Feil, Hallie Lynn, "Students' Views of a College Success Course as it Relates to Their Persistence and Success" (2015). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI3717062.