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Factors leading to student completion: a study of successful post-traditional students

Cardenas, Jennifer Nicole (2018) Factors leading to student completion: a study of successful post-traditional students. Doctoral thesis, Northern Arizona University.

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This study examined the factors that lead to student completion for part-time, post-traditional community college students (PTS). Research identified the environmental experiences and common characteristics of the student population using a sequential, exploratory research design. The qualitative segment of the study utilized a holistic, single-case study design, whereas the quantitative portion evaluated archival quantitative data from a 2013-2015 graduating cohort. In addition, the study explored the success of PTS enrolled in structured academic programs. The majority of students in the cohort were female, over the age of 35, White, low income, receiving some form of financial aid, not first generation to college or unknown, and did not require developmental education courses. More than half of the graduates earned a degree, not a certificate. Among the environmental experiences, the only significant factor appeared to be the use of an academic advisor. Supporting these data were individual interviews which indicated academic advising, or some form of mentorship coupled with a high level of self-motivation, led to success and completion. Additionally, the study determined that there is a significant difference between students who are enrolled in a structured academic program versus a non-structured academic program. The study was concluded with recommendations for further research on students not well represented in the sample and the number of credits earned by cohort participants.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Publisher’s Statement: © Copyright is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the Cline Library, Northern Arizona University. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Keywords: academic advising; community college students; completion rates; part-time students; post-traditional students; student retention
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
NAU Depositing Author Academic Status: Student
Department/Unit: Graduate College > Theses and Dissertations
College of Education > Educational Leadership
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2019 22:30
URI: http://openknowledge.nau.edu/id/eprint/5411

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