Characteristics Of Successful Community College Students
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DepartmentCommunity College Leadership Program
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Community College Education
The purpose of this quantitative study was to find predictors of student success. Using a predictive correlational design, the intent of the study was to find the relationships between the dichotomous dependent variable with the categories, degree recipients and non-degree recipients, and the independent variables, student characteristics and risk factors. The conceptual framework for this study was Astin's Input-Environment-Outcome (I-E-O) model which addresses the complexities of research in higher education by highlighting the interdependence between inputs, environments, and outputs. The use of a predictive design allowed the researcher to find the likelihood of a relationship between outcomes by using the independent variables as predictors. To address the research questions descriptive statistics, bivariate cross tabulations, and binary logistic regression were conducted. The descriptive statistics were reported from the participants' responses and the percentage of the total response. The bivariate cross tabulations measured the relationship between the expected and observed counts for the two categories. During the analysis only the significant categorical variables were retained and entered into SPSS using the default enter mode. The distinguishing characteristics of successful community college students were found in the student characteristics age, race, and parents' education. The distinguishing characteristics of risk factors were found in delayed enrollment, dependents, and part-time enrollment. Specifically, the predictors for participants who earned the associate degree consisted of a non-traditional aged student, who is White, with a parent who graduated from college or higher, had a minimal delay in entry into the community college, was enrolled part-time, and did not have dependents. Implications from practice to policy are presented in relation to how the community college should strengthen its focus on the traditional aged student who is a minority, the first in the family to attend college, has a minimal delay in their entry into college, enrolls full-time, and has dependents.