Motivational Orientations Of Native And Adult Community College Transfer Students
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DepartmentCommunity College Leadership Program
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Community College Students
Community College Education
The purpose of this study was to compare the motivational orientations of native students and adult community college transfer students to enroll in higher education. Motivational orientations are factors that represent reasons for participating in higher education, and Boshier's (1971) Theory of Motivational Orientations served as the theoretical framework for this study. In this study, native students are students characterized as those who have never completed community college coursework and are under the age of 25. Adult community college transfer students are characterized as those who have taken community college coursework and are age 25 and older. The research setting for this study was a small, private liberal arts university in the Mid-Atlantic region (referred to as Liberal Arts University). This survey study compared the differences of motivational orientations to enroll in higher education between native and adult community college transfer students. The survey instrument utilized was an online version of Boshier's (1991) Education Participation Scale–A Form (EPS-A Form) that included demographic items. Data from two groups of undergraduate students who were enrolled in Liberal Arts University (LAU) during the spring 2016 semester were included in this study. One group consisted of 56 native students who were under the age of 25 and had never attended a community college. The second group was composed of 60 adult students aged 25 years and older who had transferred from a community college. The results of the data analysis in the study found that Professional Advancement, Cognitive Interest, and Educational Preparation had the highest percentages of students that indicated much influence for enrolling in higher education for both native and adult community college transfer students. This finding suggests that both groups of students had an overall similar motivational orientations for enrolling in higher education. However, significant differences were found between native and adult community college transfer students in two of the seven categories of motivational orientation, Social Contact and Professional Advancement. Native students were more influenced by Social Contact and Professional Advancement compared to adult community college transfer students. The results from this study contribute to the literature on the motivational orientations of adult community college transfer students for enrolling in higher education. This study presents recommendations to increase the understanding of adult community college transfer students and their needs in becoming successful students.
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