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Factors Associated with Identifying At-Risk Students in a Community College Student Success Program

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0042685/00001

Material Information

Title: Factors Associated with Identifying At-Risk Students in a Community College Student Success Program
Physical Description: 1 online resource (109 p.)
Language: english
Creator: MCINTIRE,MOLLY J
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2011

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Human Development and Organizational Studies in Education -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Higher Education Administration thesis, Ed.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH IDENTIFYING AT-RISK STUDENTS IN A COMMUNITY COLLEGE STUDENT SUCCESS PROGRAM By Molly J. McIntire May 2011 Chair: Dale F. Campbell Major: Higher Education Administration This study examined 180 students attending a large southeastern community college who voluntarily participated in a student success program. The purpose of this study was to examine a student success program at a community college and identify factors associated with at-risk students. Using analysis of survey responses and written open ended responses, the researcher compared factors and behaviors associated with completers and non-completers of a community college student success program. Research questions focused on demographic information such as race, gender and age. Participant Grade Point Average (GPA) and the number of credit hours enrolled, before and after the program, were also analyzed to determine student persistence. Behaviors included the development of an education plan, life goals, financial plan, and identification of strengths and talents. Factors associated with identifying at-risk students in a community college student success program were found to include GPA, race and student persistence.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by MOLLY J MCINTIRE.
Thesis: Thesis (Ed.D.)--University of Florida, 2011.
Local: Adviser: Campbell, Dale F.
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2013-04-30

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2011
System ID: UFE0042685:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0042685/00001

Material Information

Title: Factors Associated with Identifying At-Risk Students in a Community College Student Success Program
Physical Description: 1 online resource (109 p.)
Language: english
Creator: MCINTIRE,MOLLY J
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2011

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Human Development and Organizational Studies in Education -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Higher Education Administration thesis, Ed.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH IDENTIFYING AT-RISK STUDENTS IN A COMMUNITY COLLEGE STUDENT SUCCESS PROGRAM By Molly J. McIntire May 2011 Chair: Dale F. Campbell Major: Higher Education Administration This study examined 180 students attending a large southeastern community college who voluntarily participated in a student success program. The purpose of this study was to examine a student success program at a community college and identify factors associated with at-risk students. Using analysis of survey responses and written open ended responses, the researcher compared factors and behaviors associated with completers and non-completers of a community college student success program. Research questions focused on demographic information such as race, gender and age. Participant Grade Point Average (GPA) and the number of credit hours enrolled, before and after the program, were also analyzed to determine student persistence. Behaviors included the development of an education plan, life goals, financial plan, and identification of strengths and talents. Factors associated with identifying at-risk students in a community college student success program were found to include GPA, race and student persistence.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by MOLLY J MCINTIRE.
Thesis: Thesis (Ed.D.)--University of Florida, 2011.
Local: Adviser: Campbell, Dale F.
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2013-04-30

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2011
System ID: UFE0042685:00001


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1 FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH IDENTIFYING AT RISK STUDENTS IN A COMMUNITY COLLEGE STUDENT SUCCESS PROGRAM By MOLLY J. M c INTIRE A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR DOCTOR OF EDUCATION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2011

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2 2011 Molly J. McIntire

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3 To my family for the love, laughter and support we share

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Completing a doctoral degree, assuming timely demands of coursewo rk and completed such an undertaking without the support and encouragem ent of many people in my life so I would like to take time to thank the village First and foremost, I would like to express my love and appreciation to my husband, Brae, for his patience, understanding and overwhelming support when times were difficult. He was my rock throughout this process and is the love of my life I thank my mother for her unconditional love and faith in me to achieve my goals without a doubt. I thank my family and friends for the ir patience and understanding for all the birthday s, celebrations, and dinners I missed because I was behind my computer doing research. I am extremely grateful to Dr. Dale Campbell for chairing my committee to Dr. Honeyman for his candor and always telling me exactly as it is, and to my doctoral committ ee members for their guidance and insight during this process. I would also like to thank Dr. Cynthia Garvan for her assistance and time spent with me reviewing my statistics and calculations Much appreciation goes to Angela Rowe, th e administrative assistant in the Educational Administration & Policy D epartment. She was exceptionally helpful with documentation, registration and procedures to keep me on track. I could not have completed such a project without the help of Dr. Joyce Romano and Dr. Chanda Torres and her team. I thank them for their ideas advice, and expertise during this process. I am eternally grateful for their support. I would also like to extend my greatest appreciation for Dr. Ragu Mathur and Jim Gaston of So uth

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5 Orange County Community College District in s outhern California. The time and assistance they provided was extremely beneficial. I would also like to express appreciation to my cohort. I learned a great deal simply listening to their professional exp eriences and knowledge of higher education. I have new friends and memories that will last a lifetime from the encounters I have had in this association

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6 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 8 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 9 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ................................ ................................ ........................... 10 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 11 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 12 Background ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 12 Significance ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 13 Statement of the Problem ................................ ................................ ....................... 19 Purpose of the Study ................................ ................................ .............................. 19 Research Questions ................................ ................................ ............................... 19 Assumptions ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 20 Limitations of the Study ................................ ................................ ........................... 20 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE ................................ ................................ ....................... 22 Mission of the Community College ................................ ................................ ......... 22 First Generation Students ................................ ................................ ................ 23 Traditional Students ................................ ................................ ......................... 27 Nontraditional Students ................................ ................................ .................... 31 Importance of Developmental Advising ................................ ............................ 33 Model Developmental Advising Programs ................................ .............................. 36 Valencia Community College ................................ ................................ ........... 36 Sout h Orange County Community College District ................................ ........... 40 3 RESEARCH PROCEDURE ................................ ................................ ...................... 51 Setting ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 52 Population ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 52 Methodology ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 53 Instruments ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 54 Data Collection and Analysis ................................ ................................ .................. 55 Criterion ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 58 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 58

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7 4 DATA ANAYLSIS ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 63 Research Question 1 ................................ ................................ .............................. 63 Research Question 2 ................................ ................................ .............................. 64 Research Questions 3 and 4 ................................ ................................ .................. 64 Research Question 5 ................................ ................................ .............................. 65 Research Question 6 ................................ ................................ .............................. 66 Research Question 7 ................................ ................................ .............................. 67 Research Question 8 ................................ ................................ .............................. 68 5 DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS ................................ ................................ .................... 77 GPA ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................ 77 Demographics ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 78 Gender ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 78 Race ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 79 Age ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 79 Student Persistence ................................ ................................ ................................ 80 Development of an Education Plan and Life Goals ................................ ................. 81 D eveloping a Financial Plan ................................ ................................ ................... 84 Identifying Strengths and Talents ................................ ................................ ........... 86 Recommendations for the Institution ................................ ................................ ...... 89 Mentoring ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 90 Advising ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 90 Financial Literacy Program ................................ ................................ ............... 91 Survey Instrument ................................ ................................ ............................ 91 Implications for Higher Education Administrators ................................ ................... 92 Areas for Further Research ................................ ................................ .................... 93 Conclusions ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 93 APPENDIX A ROAD MAP ACTIVITY VERIFICATION FORM ................................ ........................ 95 B ROAD MAP PRE ASSESSMENT SURVEY ................................ ............................. 97 C ROAD MAP POST ASSESSMENT SURVEY ................................ .......................... 98 D ONSHIPS .......................... 99 E DATABASE DICTIONARY ................................ ................................ ...................... 100 F TEST OF HYPOTHESIS ................................ ................................ ......................... 102 REFEREN CES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 104 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 109

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8 LIST OF TABLES Table page 2 1 Demographic Sample of the Atti tudes of Incoming Adult Learners Report ......... 49 2 2 Sample Survey Items and Data from the Attitudes of Incoming Adult Learners 50 3 1 Demog raphics of Study ................................ ................................ ...................... 61 3 2 Demographics of the College ................................ ................................ ............. 62 4 1 Gender and Race Differences between Completers and Non Completers of the Ro ad Map to Success Program ................................ ................................ .... 70 4 2 Age Differences between Completers and Non Completers of the Road Map to Success Program ................................ ................................ ........................... 7 1 4 3 Grade Point Averages (GPA) for Students Who Successfully Completed the Road Map to Success Program and Those Who Did Not Successfully Complete Road Map to Success Program ................................ ......................... 71 4 4 Credit Hours Accumulat ed While Enrolled in the Road Map to Success Program and Number of Credit Hours Accumulated Two Semesters After the Road Map to Success Program for Fall 2009 and Spring 2010 Participants ...... 72 4 5 D evelopment of an Educational Plan between Students Who Completed the Road Map to Success Program and Those Who Did Not Successfully Complete the Road Map to Success Program ................................ .................... 73 4 6 Development of Life Goals Between Students Who Completed the Road Map to Success Program and Those Who Did Not Successfully Complete the Road Map to Success Program ................................ ................................ .......... 74 4 7 Development of a Financial Plan betwee n Students Who Completed the Road Map to Success Program and Those Who Did Not Successfully Complete the Road Map to Success Program ................................ .................... 75 4 8 Identification of Strengths and Talents between Student s Who Completed the Road Map to Success Program and Those Who Did Not Successfully Complete the Road Map to Success Program ................................ .................... 76

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9 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2 1 The National Freshman Attitudes Report Demographic Sample ........................ 47 2 2 Disclaimer Encouraging Students to Make an Appointment with a Counselor (South Orange County Community College Distric t, 2007). ............................... 47 2 3 New Education Plan Created with Credit Already assigned from Transcript (South Orange County Community College District, 2007) ................................ 48 3 1 Methodology for Data Collection ................................ ................................ ......... 60

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10 LIST OF ABBREVIATION S Developmental Advising A student centered approach that encourage s advising alliances among students, faculty and staff Financial Plan A plan of action developed by students to budget and manage finances during their education Life Goals Objectives developed by student s that show they have identified, clarified, and realized their personal, academic, and career goals through a growth process whic h is based on self awareness of abilities, interests, and values Life Map A developmental advising model utilizing technology to assist students in creating an academic plan to complete their education and career goals at a community college My Education Plan (MEP) A developmental advising model utilizing technology and dedicated to helping students define, refine, and implement their personal academic goals Student Persistence Students who have earned 30 credits or more in higher education toward a cert ificate or degree completion

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11 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH IDENTIFYING AT RISK STUDENTS IN A COMMUNITY COLLEGE STUDENT SUCCESS PROGRAM By Molly J. McIntire May 2011 Chair: Dale F. Campbell Major: Higher Education Administration This study examined 1 8 0 students attending a large s outheastern community college who voluntaril y participated in a student success program. The purpose of this study was to examine a student success program at a community college and identify factors associate d wit h at risk students Using analysis of survey responses and written open ended respon ses, the research er compared factors and behaviors associated with completers and non completers of a community college student success program Research questions focused on demographic information such as race, gender and age. Participant Grade Point A verage (GPA) and the number of credit hours enrolled before and after the program were also analyzed to determine student persistence. Behaviors included the development of an education plan, life goals financial plan, and identification of strengths a nd talents. Factors associated with identifying at risk students in a community college student success program were found to include GPA, race and student persistence.

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12 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Background As early as the eighth grade, students begin to develop career and occupational interests (Tracey, Robbins, & Hofsess, 2005; Wimberly & Noeth, 2004). During progression through high school, students become more interested and better focused in academics. Entering an institution of higher education may cause intimidation, confusion, and an overwhelming challenge for students who enter college without a career plan. Obanion (1997) stated that w ith many academic majors and career onate (p. xiv). Establishing those connections is complex. With the developmental diversity of enrollment on community college campuses, the greatest challenge for institutions is the overwhelming need to support students ( Love & Guthrie 1999). Kegan (1994) Sympathetic coaches demonstrate a concern for the developmental progression of each student within a flourishing curriculum. By creating a brid developmental progress, educators acknowledge and support students development Support needs to be developed in higher education institutions for students by implementation of servi ces which engage group decision making and co mpromise, create responsibility interdependence, and e nsure the community embraces students and staff members who are available to welcome the transioning students into college (Philip, 2005).

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13 During this transition, research has implied the importance for students to develop interests in keeping with their college major and, eventually, their career choice. Students who have interests that are consistent with their choice of college major are mo re likely to remain in college (Leuwerke, Robbins, Sawyer, & Hovland, 2004). As a result, some higher education institutions have implemented developmental advising models to help students achieve life goals and stay in college. Developmental advising has been defined as both a process and an orientation (King, 2005). As Raushi (1993) suggested, T o advise from a developmental perspective is to view students at work on life tasks in the context of their whole life settings, including the college experience" (p. 6). Frost and Brown Wheeler (2003) stated, D evelop mental advising understands advising as a system of shared responsibility in which the primary goal is to help the student take responsibility for his or her decisions and actions" (p. 234). O'Banion (1994) described five steps to be the dimensions of the process of academic advising" (p. 11). These five steps were : (1) exploration of life goals (2) exploration of vocational goals (3) program choice (4) course choice (1994) model suggested that students need to se lect courses within the broader context of the student's life and career goals. O'Banion (1994), as with Frost and Brown Wheeler (2003) suggested that students should be responsible for making decisions throughout the advising process. Advisors are respon sible for providing "information and (p. 11). Significance In 2009, President Barack Obama proposed an ambitious agenda for post secondary education in the United States called the The A merican Graduat ion Initiative By providing resources through this initiative, he aimed to have the highest

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14 proportion of college graduates in the world by the year 2020 with community colleges to create the pathway for success ( The White House, 2009 ). In April 2010, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) along with five other organizations, responded by reaffirming a commitment to college completion while maintaining a commitment to increasing access and quality In 2010, the AACC and those other organizations issued a joint statement titled Action ( 2010 ). The AACC partnered with the Association of Community College Trustees, the Center for Community College Student Engagement, the League for Innovation in the Community College, the National Organization for Staff and Organizational Development, and Phi Theta Kappa. Because e nrollment at community colleges has increased almost eightfold from 1963 to 2008 ( Snyder & Dillow, 2010 ) s upport for access comes f rom a variety of policy centers and private foundations such as the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence. Because the percenta ge of American adults with post secon dary education is not measuring as high as in other countries, improving success for all students in higher (College Board Advocacy & Policy Center, 2010 ). Aligning student success with f uture opportunities for continued career success should be part of any completion agenda (Mullin, 2010). The College Board Advocacy & Policy Center has developed the College Completion Agen da to increase the number of 24 to 34 year olds who hold an assoc iate of science degree or higher to 55% by the year 2025 (College Board Advocacy & Policy Center, 2010 ). The College Completion Agenda will integrate a Progress Report, updated

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15 annually and a companion State Policy Guide which will be co created with t he National Conference of State Legislatures (College Board Advocacy & Policy Center, 2010 ). The College Completion Agenda and the State Policy G uide will include comprehensive research from nationally recognized sources with best practice policy examples ; all aligned around 10 key recommendations (College Board Advocacy & Policy Center, 2010 ). These 10 recommendation s are focused at strengthening the educational process learning path from preschool to college completion The recom mendations include (College Board Advocacy & Policy Center, 2010 ) : 1. Provide a n early childhood program of voluntary preschool education, universally available to children from low income families 2. Improve middle and h igh school college counseling and state s and localities move toward professional norms for staffing middle and high school counseling offices, and colleges and universities collaborate actively to provide college information and planning services to all students 3. Implement the best research base d dropout prevention programs S tates and local educational agenc ies adopt t argeted interventional programs 4. Align the K 12 education system with international standards and college admission expectations and governors, legislators and state education age ncies work to provide a world class education to every American student by aligning high school programs with international benchmarks tied to the demands of college, work and life 5. Improve teacher quality and focus on recruitment and retention and states, and localities and the federal government step up to the crisis in teaching by providing market competitive salaries by creating multiple pathways into teaching, and fix ing the math and science crisis 6. Clarify and simplify the admission process and public a nd private institutions of higher education continue to uphold the highest professional standards in admission and financial aid and collaborate to make the admission process more transparent and less complex 7. Provide more need based grant aid while simpli fying and making financial aid processes more transparent

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16 8. Keep college affordable and restraining growth in college costs and prices, using available aid and resources wisely, and insisting that state governments meet their obligations for funding higher e ducation 9. Dramatically increase college completion rates and institutions of higher education set out to dramatically increase college completion rates by improving retention, easing transfer among institutions and implementing data based strategies to ide ntify retention and dropout challenges 10. Provide post secondary opportunities as an essential element of adult education programs and a renewed commitment to adult education opportunities, one that have better coordination of federal and state efforts to provide adult education, benefits, outreach programs and student aid. Not only has the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center addressed the issues surrounding student per sistence and co mpletion in post secondary education, but the Gates Foundation has also created initiatives and partnerships to increase student success in higher education. The Gates Foundation proposed a goal to dramatically increase the number of students who graduate from high school to be ready for college and career s and who go on to complete a post secondary degree or certificate ( Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 2010). Post secondary enrollment is at an all time high ; however completion rates have remained virtua lly stagnant during the past 30 years (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 2010). More than half of all the students who enter ed the post secondary system do not earn a degree or credential within eight years of enrolling (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 20 10). The foundation has worked to improve the post secondary education system for all students (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 2010). Along with public and private sector partners, the foundation has strived to: Improve p ost secondary p erformance by wo rking with higher education institutions across the country and associations such as the American Association of Community Colleges, Association of Community College Trustees, and the League for Innovation in the Community College

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17 Empower s tudent s uccess to help students make good decisions about their education. Students need accurate information. The foundation supports a range of programs that provide students with guidance on how to access financial aid and structure their education to increase the ch ances of earning a degree Build c ommitment by working to make college completion a national priority by raising awareness about the impact of low completion rates on the economy and American competitiveness Build k nowledge to increase graduation rates by evaluating what students need to get through school faster and at a lower cost (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 2010). Along with the Gates Foundation and the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center address ing improved s tudent s uccess, the John N. Gardn er Institute for Excellence in undergraduate education has focus ed on institutional improvement. The John N. Gardner Institute has been a source for information and assistance to enhance college student learning, retention, and eventually graduation rate s ( John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence, 2010) T he Institute works with post secondary institutions of different sizes, types, and missions within the United States and in other countries as the institutions evaluate and improve their own policies, p ractices, and procedures in pursuit of undergraduate excellence ( John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence, 2010) Not only does the Institute focus on first year experience for students, but it also addresses issues surrounding transfer students in variou s types of institutions. The Foundation of Excellence is an initiative at the Institute for Excellence to assist post secondary institutions in conducting a self study. The self study is externally guided and intuitions that participate have develop ed a strategic action plan that results in a new vision for improvement to assist students in the first year as well as transfer students ( John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence, 2010) According to the vision of

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18 John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence (2 010) the Institute assume d a wide range of e ducational activities which include the following goals : Continu e to provide campuses with the externally guided, voluntary, comprehensive self in the First Coll ege Year Provid e campuses with an expanded version of the Foundations of Excellence self transfer students Provid e campuses with a self study process to assess and plan for ex cellence in the entire undergraduate experience Conduct evaluations, surveys, educational training, research, and advisory services for postsecondary institutions, government agencies, foundations, and other appropriate entities that aspire to improve und ergraduate student learning, success, retention, and degree completion Sustain previous and current partnerships, and develop new partnerships with individuals, associations, higher education institutions, foundations, policy making bodies, corporations, and other friends of higher education that share a common interest in pursuing excell ence in undergraduate education Provid e unique meetings, retreats, other professional development activities, networks and associational opportunities for the support, professional advancement, and communication of post secondary educators who share a common interest in achieving excellence in undergraduate education Provid e information and research to educational institutions through electronic s and other means of dis semination Provid e pro bono services and information for post secondary educators and institutions as the Institute may deem appropriate Initiat e other service activities to improve undergraduate education that are n, resources, capabilities, interests, and tax exempt non profit status. The initiatives from the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center the Gates Foundation, and the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence have all implemented initiatives to improve stu dent succes s rates in higher education for the United States

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19 Statement of the Problem High school educa tion is not sufficient for American s in today economy, however most Americans have not yet earned a college degree or certificate by age 30 ( Bill & M elinda Gates Foundation, 2010). Assisting post secondary education students to take responsibility for their actions and decisions has created a challenge. Even when have been unrelia ble with current or future workforce demands. In addition, many students enter ed students need to be encouraged to investigate careers that are consistent with their interest s. They should also be encouraged to consider the current and projected availability of employment in those careers and create an academic plan to meet their career goals. While a career and education plan has been useful to students who utilize career re sources, some students do not take advantage of the resources offered. Assisting a student develop an academic plan alone will not lead to student success (C ommunity College Survey of Student Engagement 2008). For that reason, as Fullen (2007) explained (p. 5). Purpose of the Study The purpose of this case study was to identify factors associated with at risk students in a community college student success program. Research Questions The study addresses the following questions: Does a significant difference exist in demographics ( i.e. age, gender, and race ) between students who completed a student success program and those who did not successfully complete a student success program ?

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20 Does a significant difference exist in GPA between students who completed a student success program and those who did not successfully complete a student success program ? Does a significant di fference exist in the number of credit hours enrolled between students who completed a student success program and those who did not successfully complete a student success program ? Do students who complete Road Map to Success demonstrate higher levels of persistence in college than those who did not successfully complete a student success program? Does a significant difference exist in the development of an educational plan between students who completed a student success program and those who did not suc cessfully complete a student success program ? Does a significant difference exist in the development of a financial plan between students who completed a student success program and those who did not successfully complete a student success program ? Does a significant difference exist in the development of life goals between students who completed a student success program and those who did not successfully complete a student success program ? Does a significant difference exist in the identification of st rengths and talents between students who completed a student success program and those who did not successfully complete a student success program ? Assumptions 1. The students in this study were representative of a large community college located in the s out heastern region of the United States. 2. Students were enrolled in the Student Success course at their community college. 3. Most community college students do not have an educational plan. 4. Most community college students have life goals. 5. Most community college students are aware of financial plans. Limitations of the Study 1. Because the research was a case study, the number of subjects was limited. 2. Because t he career and academic planning resources at this institution might not be available at other community col leges, the results of the study can be attributed

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21 to the programs implemented in the Southeastern region of the United States with similar resources 3. The students in this study may not be representative of other institutions; therefore, the conclusions rea ched in this study may not be generalized to populations at other community colleges. 4. The instruments used in this study were created by the institution and remains in tact. Validity was based on the results from previous data collected by the instutition 5. ei ved differently by students resulting in skewed data.

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22 CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE Mission of the Community College Due to open admissions, community c olleges have provided accessibility for students to obtain certificates and degrees in higher education. The diversity at community colleges as a result of open admissions has continued to range with enrollment of students from various backgrounds and g oals. Students vary in age from the traditional first year students having just gra duated from high school, to non traditional students returning to college for new skills or a career change. Some students entered the community college to earn a degree while others searched for job training certificates. With the vast enrollment in populations at community colleges, students seek access to opportunity for education that serve as the foundation for a career, new life, or a new perspective (Mullin, 2010). Although students enroll in courses to achieve their goals, it is an institutional effort to help students successfully complete the courses. Mullin (2010) classifie d community college students into three categories : high school students, swirlers and retoolers. Research has shown h igh school students as classified for the first category, who earn college credit while in high school increase the likelihood that they will enroll and persist in a post secondary education institution ( Karp, Calcagno, Hughes, Jeong & Bailey, 2007 ). A considerable growth of dual enrollment programs has been made in high schools which ha s resulted in the increased demand for college courses ( Southern Regional Education Board, 2010 ). However, to be successful in colleg e level courses, students must have the knowledge and preparation provided by a rigorous K 12

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23 learning experience (Mullins, 2010). Therefore 60% of community college students in 2004 needed academic remediation ( Wirt, Choy, Rooney, Prevasnik, Sen & Tobin, 2004 ). In Chapter 1, t he Bill and Melinda Gates F oundation addressed this issue and the Foundation continues to work with community colleges, as well as with policymakers to enhance the academic support needed at the K 12 curriculum levels. Swirlers as classified in the second category, are students who attend four year institutions, but enroll enroll at a community college for one or two courses (Mullin 2010). The swirler student gains the benefits of quality learning, yet the courses they take a re transferable to their primary institution and they also pay a decreased tuition rate by enrolling at the community colle ge (Mullin 2010). Swirlers take advantage of the opportunities at community colleges because it will decrease time for degree comp letion by providing courses that are most convenient to them (Mullin 2010). Unlike swirlers, the retoolers as classified in third category, at community colleges are those who are working adults and want to retool th eir knowledge or skills (Mullin 2010 ). Retoolers benefit w orkforce industries benefit by the retoolers by increasing productivity place of work Many professions in the workforce require continuing education units (CEUs) to maintain licensure. Students use courses at the community college to sustain professional licensure. While community colleges are focused on completion rates, students however they are defi ned are enrolled for various reasons. First Generation Students While the high schoolers, swirlers, and retoolers have their o wn agendas for college course completion another group of students are enrolled in a community college. Students whose parents have no postsecondary education experiences are called first generation students. According to the National Center for Educati on

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24 Statistics (2005), first generation college students made up 45% of the public community college population. A report titled, The Faces of the Future: A Portrait of the First Generation Community College Students discusses the findings from a national s urvey developed to examine the lives and experiences of credit and noncredit community college students (Nomi, 2005). The findings revealed the demographic characteristics, goals, and college experiences reported by 49,893 first generation community coll ege students surveyed while enro lled in credit bearing courses at 158 community colleges between the fall 2001 and fall 2003 (Nomi, 2005). To understand the first generation population, results were compared with students in two other groups. Moderate Pa rental Education (MPE) students were defined as students who had at least one parent with post secondary education, but either only one parent or neither parent who had earned a bachelor degree (Nomi, 2005). High parental education (HPE) students were cate degree (Nomi, 2005). Based on the findings from the report, first generation students were less likely to be of traditional age (17 21) than were MPE students and HPE students which suggested they wer e less likely to enroll in college immediately after high school completion (Nomi, 2005). The median ages of first generation students were 24, HPE median age was 21, and MPE median age was 20 years of age (Nomi, 2005). The study also found that first ge neration community college students were more likely to be female. Approximately 67% were women compared to 61% of MPE students and 50% of HPE students (Nomi, 2005).

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25 The study also concluded that students who were consi dered first generation students w ere more racially and ethnically diverse than MPE or HPE students. Approximately 35% of first generation students were members of minorities, compared to 27% of MPE students and 29% of HPE students (Nomi, 2005). The majority of Hispanic students (53%) we re first generation, 43% were Native American, and 41% of b lack students were first generation (Nomi, 2005). In contrast, Asian American and w hite students were much less likely to be first generation and they were the only two groups with more than 10% in the HPE student category (Nomi, 2005). Most students enrolled in community colleges were employed, either full time or part time, regardless of the education level attained by the parents. However, first generation students in this study were more likel y to be employed full time as opposed to the MPE students and HPE students (Nomi, 2005). In addition, a majority of first generation students were more likely to support dependants, whereas HPE students were more likely to be a dependant (Nomi, 2005). The additional responsibilities at home could likely contribute to the finding that f irst generation students completed fewer courses than MPE students and HPE students (Nomi, 2005). Approximately 50% of first generation college students were enrolled in three or fewer courses, compared to 42% of MPE and 40% of HPE students (Nomi, 2005). Funding these courses likely explain ed the part time enrollment. Only 14% of p income and savings were reported as major sources of funds for college related expe nses for fewer first generation students, as opposed to HPE students at 40% (Nomi, 2005). Fifty five percent of first generation students reported they relied on financial aid as a major source of funding college expenses compared to

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26 45% of MPE students an d 30% of HPE students (Nomi, 2005). For each demographic group of students in this study, the cost of attending college was the most frequent ly cited factor influencing choice of college (Nomi, 2005). However a higher percentage of the first generation students cited it as a very important factor (Nomi, 2005). As with the other previously defined groups of students, first generation students had a variety of reasons why they attend ed a community college. More first generation students (46%) indicated th at they enrolled in community college courses because they were related to a future job (Nomi, 2005). Forty two percent of first generation students Moderate Parental Education students (48%) a nd HPE (57%) were more likely to attend community college s with t he intent to transfer to a four year institution (Nomi, 2005). First generation students were less likely than the MPE students or HPE students to cite their nue their education as a major reason for enrolling in specific courses or program s (Nomi, 2005). This finding is likely explained by the fact that the parents of first generation students were less academically oriented and provide d less influence on pos t secondary education than the parents of MPE students and HPE students. First generation students also cited the major reason for attending a community college was to meet the requirements for a chosen occupation, increase earning potential, make a caree r change, develop computer or technology skills, advance in a current job, enter the workforce after children are grown, and enter the workforce after a major life change (Nomi, 2005). All community college groups in this study indicated that the col lege experiences contributed substantially to their academic and non academic

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27 development, and first generation students expressed a great satisfaction (Nomi, 2005). The difference in the satisfaction levels was related to career related goals. For insta nce, 51% of first generation students indicated that their college experiences made a major contribution to acquiring the specific skills needed for a current or future job, compared to 42% of MPE students and 36% of HPE students (Nomi, 2005). A greater p ercentage of first generation students cited being satisfied with receiving training and acquiring skills needed to advance their careers (40%) than did MPE students (32%) or HPE students (29%). First generation students also reported being more satisfied with the opportunities to develop self confidence than the MPE students and HPE students (Nomi, 2005). Traditional Students Research has continued to identify academic and career counseling as an essential component for student success in higher educuat ion. In 2007, a national research study was conducted on more than 92,000 first year students nationwide who attended 302 colleges and univers ities. Students completed a 100 item survey during the first weeks of school by the Noel Levitz Retention Manage ment System and the survey included a wide range of various institutions. From the respondents, 45.2% were male, and 54.5% were female. The demographic sample was consistent with national trends for undergraduate students with an ethnic/racial distribut ion displayed in Figure 2 1 (Noel Levitz, 2008 b ) According to the National Freshman Attitudes Report ( Noel Levitz, 2008 b ), a special focus of this survey was to identify attitudes that may pose barriers or opportunities for students in continuing and com pleteing their degrees. F indings indicated 95% of first year students entering college arrived highly motivated to

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28 complete a degree, while 74% wanted assistance in knowing how to prepare for exams, and 66% indicated a desire for career guidance ( Noel Le vitz, 2008 b ). When surveyed with questions regarding their desire to finish college, 93.9% indicated, according to certain responses, acco rding to certain responses, ( Noel Levitz, 2008 b ). A disturbing finding from the report indicated that while a maj ority of first year students arrive d at college highly motivated to complete their educational goals, only half of them were likely to accomplish those goals and aspirations (Noel Levitz, 2008 b ). The lack of career planning could be contributed to this fi nding. The report ( Noel Levitz, 2008 b ) stated that only 61.7% of incoming college freshm e n made a firm decision to enter a particular occupation and 23.4% identified being confused about having to choose an occupation (Noel Levitz, 2008 b ). The National Freshman Attitudes Report (2008 b) included both two year and four year insitutions nationwide. Because institutions vary from campus to campus, data were varied for each college. The average age for population surveyed was 19.9 years old (Noel Levitz, 2008 b ). D emographics in community colleges have traditionally included a more diverse population as previously discussed, therefore the outcomes from a surv ey administered strictly at two year colleges could contrast. The National Student Satisfaction and Priorities Report for Community, Junior, and Technical College (2008 c), listed In order of importance the top chal lenges identified by students :

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29 My academic advisor is knowledgeable about my program requirements. This school does whatever it can to hel p me reach my educational goals. Adequate financial aid is available for most students My academic advisor is knowledgeable about the transfer requirements of other schools. My academic advisor is concerned about my success as an individual. Financial aid counselors are helpful. This report consisted of 244 community, junior and technical institutions with more than 195,000 repondents between 2005 and 2008 (Noel Levitz, 2008 c ). The r eport (2008 c ) noted that effective in stitutions will administer self surveys repeatedly to compare their data to national trends, to past performance and to actively respond to the challenges indicated by students. Based on data co llected in the Nationa l Freshman Attitudes Report (2008 b ), educators must continually address student advising, as well as attend to those students who have not developed a financial plan for post secondary education According to the report, e ntering first generation student s entered colle ge worrying about finances (Noel Levitz, 2008 c ). Only 47.4% of college students surveyed stated they have the financial resourc es they need to finish college (Noel Levitz, 2008 c ). Based on this report ( 2008 c ), 63.7% of students would like to speak with a counselor about getting a some type of financial aid. According to the National Council on Economic Education (2005), 38 states now have personal finance standards built into state education systems, and 21 of these states require the st andards be implemented in the curriculum In s ix states, personal

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30 finance is a requirement for high school graduation (Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, New York, Georgia, and Alabama). Lyons (2003) found that one in three students reported his/her financial situ ation was as or to affect the ability to complete a college degree. Financial literacy programs in higher education have also been developed to assist students with funding post secondary education. Texas Tech offers a Red to B lack program for students. The services are free for students and offers finanical planning services, counseling and seminars. The mission of Red to Black help students, faculty, community members, and organizations by advocating responsible finan cial behaviors through financial counseling, financial education, and transfer of skills Texas Tech University 2007 ). The Red to Black program provided financial awareness through client based and outreach based planning, training, and coaching were pr ovided by (Texas Tech University 2007) : Evaluating client needs and provid ing confidential advice Empowering clients through financial education Providing professional leadership experience for Pilot Funding Program (PFP) students Serving as the premie r campus based financial counseling and education model for other colleges and universities (Texas Tech University 2007). In 2006, researchers from the University of Georgia presented a paper at the Eastern Family Economics and Resource Management Associa College Students and Financial Literacy: What They Know and What We Need to Learn presented the result s of a study conducted as a multi state project (Lyons, 2003) An online survey was conducted at the University of Illinois at Urban na Champaign in the f all of 2004 and at Louisiana State University, University of Georgia, and the University

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31 of Illinois at Chicago in the spring of 2005. This paper report ed the preliminary results for Louisiana State University (LSU) and University of G eorgia (UGA) Five thousand LSU undergraduate students and 3,266 UGA undergraduate students were invited to participate. A total of 1,891 students (1,400 from LSU and 491 from UGA) responded to the online survey. According to the survey, t he most signifi money management behaviors w as their parents (Lyons, 2003) Students were more likely to be financially fit if they had higher GPAs or had parents who were married. Students were more likely to be financially at risk if they h ad a credit card or were a minority or college senior (Lyons, 2003) T he implications of poor financial management affected more than Poor financial management affect ed their academic performance, mental and physical well being, and ev en their ability to find employment after graduation (Bodvarsson & Walker, 2004; Lyons, 2003). Nontraditional Students A similar study was conducted as an appendage to the National Freshman Attitudes Report (Noel Levitz, 2008 a ) and compare d the attitudes a nd motivations of first year, nontraditional age students to those of the traditional age student. The item attitudinal survey administered in the summer and early fall of 2007. The study fo cused on a wide range of student success issues such as study habits, desire to finish college, receptivity to assistance, and clarity on career decision making ( Noel Levitz, 2008 a ). The study also examined attitudinal trends among freshm e n as a whole, a s well as differences between first generation and non first generation freshmen ( Noel Levitz, 2008 a ). Participants in the study were enrolled at a broad cross sec tion of public and private, two year and four year post s econdary institutions. The 100 item survey was

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32 administered to students during the college orientation, or within the first few weeks of the semester. Non traditional age students were defined as students 25 years of age or older. The average age of the traditional age group was 18.4 (Noel Levitz, 2008 a ). According to the study, a special focus was to identify attitudes that may pose barriers or opportunities for students in continuing and completing their degrees (Noel Levitz, 2008 a ). Table 2 1 reflects the demographic sample of the Atti tudes of Incoming Adult Learners Report. The findings from the Attitudes of Incoming Adult Learners Report (2008 a ) were listed as percentages of entering first year students and divided between nontraditional age and traditi onal age learners in Table 2 2 Data indicate d a number of differences and similarities in the attitudes of nontraditional age and traditional age students. These findings present ed implications for all practitioners who were dedicated to improving persistence and goal attainment for this demographic in higher education. According to the National Center for Education Statistics ( 2007 a ), the dropout rate for adult learners was higher compared to traditional age students at two year a nd four year institutions. Approximately 56.6 % of adu lt learners at two year instituti ons drop ped out as opposed to 43.3 % of traditional age students (National Center for Education Statistics, 2007 b ). Approximately 49.9% of nontraditional age students drop ped out at four year institutions as opposed to 28 .2 % of traditional age students (National Center for Education Statistics 2007 b ). These findings reveal ed a considerable challenge as enrollment of adult learners at deg ree granting institutions grew 186% between 1970 and 2005 and these percentages are projected to grow another 20% by 2016 (National Center for Education Statistics, 2007 a ).

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33 Importance of Developmental Advising is a teaching and learning process that help s students construct meaning and purpose from their experiences (Castillo, 2007, p. 153 ). With the findings from studies on first generation, traditional age and non traditional age students, as well as the initiatives set forth by policymakers, the need for effective development advising at community colleges is evident. The Center for Community College Student Engagement partnered with the Association of Community Colleges and Schools (AACC), as discussed in C hapter 1 to reaffirm commitment to college completion in to Action (2010). A national report released key findings from the 2009 cohort of the Connections: prov ided data about the quality of d how institutions across the country were intentionally making connections with students online, in the classroom, on campus, and beyond (CCSS E, 2009). The Co mmunity College Survey of Student Engagement (2008) reported 62% of community college students were enrolled part time, while 56% of students worked more that 20 hours per week (p. 9). The difference in student engagement between part time and full time s tudents has remained a key finding in CCSSE data. In 2006, CCSSE surveyed 249,548 students at 447 colleges in 46 states (cited in Burnett, 2006, p. 6) The CCSSE reported a meager 19% of part time students who said they had discussed career plans with an advisor or instructor often o r very often, in contrast to 30% of full time students (cited in Burnett, 2006, p. 6) With the growing number of diverse students in community colleges, support in academic advising and career

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34 planning has continued to be ess ential for student success. According to CCSSE (2008), literature showed that use of certain key services w as significantly related to student success (p. 4). However, most community college students spent a limited amount of time on campus due to work a nd life schedules which resulted in limited time to use such resources such as academic advising and student services offered on campus. As a result, not all students took advantage of resources available on campus. Although students indicated they hig hly value academic services, students have not used these services often (CCSSE, 2009, p. 14). Part time students were also twice as likely to report receiving no advising servic es, with 16% of part time students stat ing they had utilized no advising servi ces, compared to 29 % of full time students (cited in Burnett, 2006, p. 6) While the majority of students (62%) and faculty members (85%) indicated they believe academic advising and planning w ere very important to students, only 29% of instructors refer re d students to advising service s often and only 19% of instructors incorporate d the use of academic advising or educational planning into their selected course often (CCSSE, 2009). Increasingly, colleges have reported using technology to reach out to stud ents enrolled in a community college (CCSSE, 2009). Data showed significant growth in the use of online courses and support services, including online developmental education classes, advising, orientation, and tutoring (CCSSE, 2009). The CCSSE (2009) repo rt offered new primary research on the use of Web 2.0 social networking tools. The CCSSE (2009) participants reported stable increases in use of computers, the Internet, and e mail each year since 2004. While technology use was once the territory for young er students, the age gap has diminished to within one percentage point. U pwards

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35 of 66% of all students have use d these technologies to work on assignments (CCSSE, 2009) However, the 2009 CCSSE special focus items indicate d that age gaps remain for some t ypes of technology, particularly the newer social networking tools such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. The CCSSE (2009) indicated traditional students age 18 to 24 years old, were more likely to use social networking tools multiple times per day any purpose (68%). Among the traditional age participants, just 5% of students versus 22% of nontraditional age students never use d social networking tools (CCSSE, 2009). Traditional age students were also more likely to use social networking tools to co mmunicate with other students, instructors, or college staff about their college coursework (CCSSE, 2009) Only 27% of traditional age students versus 49% of nontraditional age students reported they had never communicate d via social networking resources ( CCSSE, 2009). Technology has had a significant impact on the structure and delivery of student services. Many student services offered at higher education institutions have advanced which allows students to a ccess services online or at off campus locatio ns. As early as 1999 the National Survey of Information Technology in Higher Education found that 70% of the institutions surveyed provide d on line access to their undergraduate admissions application and 77% provide d on line access to their catalog ( Campu s Computing Project, 1999) As technology has improved, higher education and student affairs professionals have tailored such technological progress by providing greater access to student services. In recent years these advances have resulted in cyber

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36 serv ices such as on line course registration, financial aid applications, academic and career planning, and learning communities. Model Developmental Advising Programs Valencia Community College (VCC) was in the proc ess of the. Learning Centered Initiative As part of this course of development a consultant was involved in working with Student Affairs staff to support and improve student success and learning ( Shugart & Romano, 2008). Research has shown that the more students were actively engaged with faculty, staff and other students, the more likely they learned and actively persist ed toward achieving their academic and life goals ( CCSSE 2006). The CCSSE (2006) has focused data on institutional practices and student behaviors that promote student engagement. Valencia Community College has utilized CCSSE data since 2001 to improve educational practices to increase student success. With the CCSSE (2006) data, V CC administrators implemented community goals and m onitored progres s toward achieving those goals. T hroughout each step, each year, VCC administration encouraged innovation and improvement that has resulted in better student outcomes. With 62% of community college students enrolled part time ( National C enter for Education Statistics, 2008 a ) engaging students can be challenging, yet extremely important to support student success. The CCSS E (2006) suggest ed that engagement efforts encourage d students to set and meet goals, such as academic and career advi sing, and these efforts have had a significant impact on student retention and, ultimately, student succe ss. Unfortunately, more than one third (36%) of CCSSE (2006) respondents reported they rarely or never use academic advising/planning services, even t hough 88% cited advising as important. Nearly half of

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37 the students (49%) reported they rarely or never use career counseling services (Community College Survey of Student Engagement, 2006) Faculty, staff, and students at V CC engaged in conversations supp orted by data and professional literature and practice. Hundreds of faculty, staff and students were engaged in dialog ue that helped develop a sense of shared practice at the college. Administrators at the college took time to understand the root of the problem rather tha n jumping straight into problem solving. Data from the institution s research revealed several concerns. The first piece of evidence the administrators found was the relationship between graduation success rates and the first few classe s of college course work (15 credit hours) on the first attempt (Shugart & Romano, 2008). Many of the most heavily enrolled courses at the college were also the least productive, with success rates ar ound 50%. T hese courses accounted for about 40 % of th e total enrollment of the college (Shugart & Romano, 2008). Because these courses were considered gateway courses, they presented a major barrier for many students at the college. The discussion with faculty, staff, and students focus ed on improving student readiness for college (Shugart & Romano, 2008). A s part of the Learning Centered I nitiative in 2001, administrat ors led the change in academic advising and implemented Life Map a technological tool to assist students in the deve lopment of an academic plan to complete education al and career goals (Shugart & Romano, 2008). Life Map is based on V developmental advising model that promotes social academic integration, education and career planning (Shugart & Romano, 2008). De velopmental advising is considered a student centered

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38 approach that e ncourages advising associations among students, faculty, and college staff. Life Map has linked all of the components of V CC (faculty, staff, courses, technology, programs, services an d so forth ) into an individual schedule to enable students succeed in their college experience (Valencia Community College). Th is technological tool describes for students what they should be doing for each of the five stages of their development. The fiv e stages include (Shugart & Romano, 2008) : College Transition (middle and high school to college decision making) Introduction to College (0 15 credit hours) Progression to Degree (16 44 credit hours) Graduation Transition (45 60 credit hours) Lifelong Lea rning (learning beyond a first degree) Life Map has been implemented into the Student Success course curriculum at Valencia Community College to help students become familiar with the technological resources offered to them With the implementation of Li fe Map V CC strived to help students learn how to make a plan, implement goals, achieve educational and career goals in a shorter time, understand how courses relate to personal goals and a chosen career, maximize use of V resources and stay in colleg e to complete their degree (Valencia Community College) Students at VCC initiated the use of Life Map by interacting with faculty and to discuss ing educational goals. New students entering the college are mandated to attend New Student Orientation befo re they are able to register for courses. New Student Orientation included a campus tour, information and educational planning, college resources and Life Map tool overview, as well as a group advisement session. Students who take the College Placement T est and have scores which place the m in two college preparatory courses such as r eading, m athematics, and E nglish must

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39 successfully complete the SLS 1122 Student Success course (Valencia Community College, 2008) As part of the Student Success curriculu m, students used the Life Map web based planning tools to design and save their educational and career plan followed by an advisement session with an academic advisor. Valencia Community College has had tremendous success with the implementation of Life Map In a recent VCC student survey (2008), 133 random students who were enrolled in Student Success were surveyed to gain, as identified by Fullen (2008) as, The results of the self study indicated that students should continue to use Life Map and the education plan tool after they were informed of the resources offered. Students also strongly agreed that academic advisement sessions were Fall to spring persistence of students also grew during the period of the (Shugart & Romano, 2008). As a result, the chances increased of higher success rates for students enrolled in gatew ay courses. In five of the six gateway courses, success and persistence rates for all students have increased, with the greatest gains among African American and Hispanic students (Shugart & Romano, 2008). Most colleges adopt strategies to improve studen t performance, however the experience at VCC showed the benefits when the focus on students was placed at the time that student s enter college Valencia Community College created an environment that increas ed student engagement from the start of the coll ege experience. This concept has encouraged the potential for all faculty and staff to contribute to student success at VCC (Shugart & Romano, 2008).

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40 South Orange County Community College District As a 2009 Bellwether Award finalist, South Orange County Community College District in s outhern California (SOCCCD) has also led the change in higher education by helping, South Orange County Community College District is one of 72 co mmunity college districts in California. It is a multi campus district consisting of Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, Irvine Valley College in Irvine, and the Advanced Technology & Education Park (ATEP) i n Tustin (South Orange County Community College District, 2007) Saddleback College and Irvine Valley College are accredited, offering associate degrees and providing academic major prerequisites that are transferable to four year colleges and universities (South Orange County Community College Distric t, 2007) The Advanced Technology & Education Park is the newest SOCCCD campus and collaborates with other education al institutions with technology related businesses (South Orange County Community College District, 2007) South Orange County Community Co llege District has served more than 37,000 students each semester and has employed more than 2,300 faculty and staff (South Orange County Community College District, 2007) Under the direction of Chancellor Dr. Ragu Mathur, the district investigated met hods to help students make intelligent decisions in course selection. Not only did they use educational plans to assist students, they have continued to lead the change by developing a new student centered award winning system called My Academic Plan (MAP ) dedicated to helping students define, refine and implement their personal academic goals. The MAP project director explained that this tool does not offer a E ach student received personalized information and

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41 guidance based on his individual goals, current assessment levels and academic history ( J. Gaston, personal communication, February 18, 2009). With the primary constituents being counselors and students, MAP was created by a design team containing primarily a group of counselors and students. Work began in fall 2005 and the system went online on April 27, 2007 after extensive counselor testing and numerous student focus group sessions. It utilized the very latest technology to create an intuitive user interface and i ncorporated a large amount of information presented in a readable and efficient format (J. Gaston, personal communication, February 18, 2009). During implementation, Jim Gaston, Associate Director for Academic Systems and Special Projects, discussed the costs and demands of this project and this project would not have been possible without the tremendous amount of support from leaders at the college. With the backing from Dr. Mathur, Dr. Allen McDougal, r etired IT director, lended his full support to h elp Jim Gaston with the developmental process. Gaston cited a point during the development when he needed to ask for more time and money to continue the process, and Dr. McDougal responded, W hat more important things could be we doing with our resources than helping (Dr. Allen McDougal, as cited by J. Gaston, personal communication, February 18, 2009). My Academic Plan ( MAP ) was designed as a ti ghtly integrated system with the SOCCCD student system and a statewide inter segmental articulation database. The system not only evaluated the student transcript, but also made certain that all o bligatory prerequisites and co requisites had been successfu lly completed by the

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42 student. When a student added a course to his academic plan, the system checked the curriculum to dete rmine if the course had any pre requisite stipulations. If so, the system then determined if the student ha d completed the prerequis ite, or if the student had already added a course to the academic plan that would fulfill the prerequisites. If not, then all necessary prerequisite courses were automatically added to the academic plan creating less confusion for the student as to what c ourses need ed to be completed for his desired major. Note that MAP was however it provided students with an online guide as a resource when students had questions and advisors could not provide immediate feedb ack. Students were prompted by MAP to speak with a counselor shown in Figure 2 2 (J. Gaston, personal communication, February 18, 2009). Other implementations have been available for students to assist them when using MAP. My Academic Plan is integrated with SmartSchedule the SOCCCD online class schedule. When a student used the course scheduling page, a search icon automatically appeared next to any semester that ha d an online schedule available. Clicking on the icon created a customized page for tha t student containing all the sections offered during the selected semester for the courses listed in his individual button. Students were given a time frame to registe time, the student could enroll in all of the selected classes with one click of a mouse. Students c ould also subscribe to a daily email tool that allowed them to track the status of those classes informing the student if any of t he classes had closed prior to registration appointment time (J. Gaston, personal communication, February 18, 2009).

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43 In addition to the student benefits, counselors used MAP as a great resource to support in the academic advisement. If a st udent has completed coursework at other institutions, a counselor could input that information (J. Gaston, personal communication, February 18, 2009). M y Academic Plan automatically credits the student with the appropriate number of units in the General Education requirements as certified by the institution at which the student too k the course in the semester in which he attended. Credit are possible because MAP is the only academic planning tool that is fully integrated with Project ASSIST ( A rticulatio n S ystem S timulating I nter institutional S tudent T ransfer), a California inter segmental articulation database. Project ASSIST is a computerized student transfer information system that can be a ccessed over the World Wide Web (ASSIST) It displays report s of how course credits earned at one California college or university can be applied when transferred to another and is contained in the MAP database which is automatically updated monthly (J. Gaston, personal communication, February 18, 2009). Figure 2 3 demonstrates an education plan created with credit s already assigned from a transcript My Academic Plan contains the following features (South Orange County Community College District, 2007) : A multi guides a student through the p rocess of selecting an academic goal A planning tool that provides the student with a complete list of courses that will help him achieve the goal, broken down by the various categories (General Education, Major Preparation, Electives, etc.) Customized pre requisite and co requisite guidance based on curriculum An individualized set of classes, including a timeframe for completing the classes An edit delete and save multiple plan

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44 A plan audit to ensure that the plan is complete A printable report listing all courses in the plan, sorted by course type and intended semester Entering courses taken by students at other institutions in the system, providing students full credit for cour ses taken outside the SOCCCD Online help to alert students to exceptions or unusual situations which can be set at the institution, term, program or course level Full integration with the SOCCCD Student Information System which allows MAP to evaluate th e student transcript every time the plan is accessed providing a continuous progress report of how the student is accomplishing his goal Making MAP f ully integrated with Project ASSIST which is a California state database containing transfer and articulat ion data, drastically reduc ing the maintenance requirements for MAP since the ASSIST data receive a monthly update MAP provid ing helpful tutorial videos which include full motion screen captures and counselors explaining how the students can use the syste m most effectively Storage of notes that can be associated with the student, with the plan, or with individual courses Counselors being able to disclaimers that encourage students to make a counseling appointmen t ; i f the student makes any changes to the plan, the status automatically reverts back to ; Locking a plan that prohibits the student from making any changes to that individual plan, but the student can make a copy of the plan and modify the new plan Counselors being able to store course equivalencies from other institutions thus creating a valuable database that other counselors can utilize Links to a personalized online class schedule listing only the courses the student is interested in f or that semester and then the student can add the individual The principal outcome of this project was to create a unique and innovative system that provided the students at Sa ddleback College and Irvine Valley College with a high level of service (J. Gaston, personal communication, February 18, 2009) The system

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45 assisted counselors by automating processes that were arduous to track manually, and it provided the instructional o ffices extensive information regarding future course demand (J. Gaston, personal communication, February 18, 2009) Since April 27, 2007 MAP has been used to create more than 38,000 academic plans representing more than 17,000 students (Jim Gaston, persona l communication, February 18, 2009) M y Academic Plan was recognized by the California Community Colleges Chancellors Office with a 2007 Technology Focus Award. Most recently, SOCCCD was a 2009 Bellwether Award Finalist for MAP in recognition of outstand ing and innovative programs and practices successfully leading community colleges into the future (College of Education, University of Florida, 2008) project involves the importance of true student centered design. Fr om the very beginning of this project, the design team never lost sight of the critical importance of (J. Gaston, personal communication, February 18, 2009) Preliminary research has indicated that students who use MAP have a higher success rates in cl asses than students who do not use MAP, however more research will be conducted as MAP continues to be an integral part of student services (J.Gaston, personal communication, February 18, 2009) A Learning Col lege for the 21 st Century challenges higher education to place learning college assists learners to form and participate in collaborative learning the bellwether examples of the developmental advising models implemented at Valencia Community College and the Orange County Community

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46 these programs

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47 Figure 2 1. The National Freshman Attitudes Report Demographic Sample Figure 2 2 Disclaimer E ncouraging S tudents to M ake an A ppointment with a C ounselor (Sou th Orange County Community College District, 2007).

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48 Figure 2 3 New E ducation P lan C reated with C redit A lready assigned from T ranscript ( South Orange County Community College District, 2007)

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49 Table 2 1. Demographic S ample of the Attitudes of In coming Adult Learners Report Participant Demographics Finding s for All Students Adult Learners Traditional Students Number of Participants 8,867 81,080 Percent Male 43.1 % 45.5 % Percent Female 56.9 % 54.5 % Race Asian 3.6 % 3.9 % Black 24.3 % 17. 7 % Hispanic 11.7 % 8.7 % Other 4.1 % 3.8 % White 43.9 % 61.1 %

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50 Table 2 2 Sample S urvey I tems and D ata from the Attitudes of Incoming Adult Learners Sample Survey Items Findings for All Students Nontraditional Traditional I am deeply co mmitted to my educational goals, and the effort and sacrifices that will be needed to attain them. 94.6 % 88.8 % I have found a potential career that strongly attracts me. 88.2 % 78.4 % I have made a firm decision to enter a ce rtain occupation and have begun planning my life around that decision. 76.7 % 60.2 % I have the financial resources that I need to finish college. 42.4 % 47.9 % I would like to receive some help in improving my study habits. 59.1 % 55.7 % I would like s ome help selecting an education plan that will prepare me to get a good job. 59.9 % 66.4 % I would like to talk to someone about getting a scholarship. 61.4 % 63.9 % I would like to talk with someone about getting a loan to help me through school. 37.3 % 29.5 %

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51 CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH PROCEDURE This chapter defines the research meth odology used in this case study describing the research setting, population and methodology. The instruments used are provided and data collections are detailed. This case study followed students in a Student Success program at a large community college in the Southeastern region of the United States Students, whose entry level test scores placed into at least two preparatory math ematic and reading courses, were mandated t o take the Student Success course. The St udent Success course is a three hour, elective college level credit course in which all new students were strongly encouraged or mandated to enroll. The curriculum focuse d on career and educational planning, unders tanding of self and learning styles, and academic success skills. Student Success faculty implement ed active and collaborative learning strategies to engage students in the learning process. Students develop ed a Learning Portfolio which starts the document ation of their learning and achievement of c ore c ompetencies at the college. As part of the curriculum in the Student Success course, students were invited to participate in an incentive program developed and implemented by the institution called Road M Students ha d the opportunit y to complete criteria based "best practices" for academic success and to earn a $500 award. Students must have met with an e ducational a dvisor, c areer p rogram a dvisor or c ounselor to certify their completion and requirements (Appendix A). The purpose of this case study was to identify factors associated with at risk students in a community college S tudent S uccess program.

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52 Setting This large s outheastern community college was originally founded in 196 7 as a junio r college and became a community college in 1971 Accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), this multi campus community college serves more than fifty thousand credit students per year with about two thirds pursuing transfer progr ams and one third technical degrees and certificates (Shugart & Romano, 2008). The college offer ed the Associate in Arts (AA) degree, 7 articulated AA Pre Majors, 4 AA Pre Majors, 30 transfer plans and 103 Associate in Science and Applied Science degrees and certificate programs which lead to immediate entry into the workforce. The college was ranked first year insitutions, and fourth among two year and four year colleges and universities in the number of Associ ate degrees awarded to students ( National Center for Education Statistics, 2008 b ). In the mid 1990 s the college began a deep and lasting dialog ue on the learning college paradigm (Shugart & Romano, 2008). Primarily, the faculty, staff, and stu dents began developing a common language and the purpose for reform. The institution focused a concentrat ed on staff and faculty development (Shugart & Romano, 2008). A s a result a new strategic plan was adopted in 2002 which included an important goa Population 3 years old, and a resident of the county area which the college serves. This represen tative student is enrolled part time, attends classes during the day and enrol ls in 9 credit hours, and seek s an AA degree. Table 3 the 2009

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53 20 10 reporting year as provided by the ( Valencia Community College, 2010). Student Succe ss was an entry level course at the college Students were encouraged to enroll upon college application even if they were not mandated to complete the course. Participants in this study were volunteer students enrolled in a Student Success course ; they w ere invited to participate in a S tudent S uccess program titled, Road Students were not selected to participate based on gender, age, race or any other criteria. Figure 3 1 illustrates the methodology for this study. According to Patton (1987) the power of purposeful sampling lies in selecting an i n depth study (p. 52). The population of the study was demographically diverse within the confines of the larger student population enrolled in the Student S uccess course. females, Caucasian, African Americans, Hispanic, Asian, and other individuals of any other descent ( see Table 3 1) The student population who participated in Road Map to Success ranged from 18 year s to more than 50 years of age. The median age range was 24 years. The purpose of this homogenous sample was to conduct an evaluation of the Road Map to Success program based on the thoughts and experiences of a particular group. Methodology At the begi nning of the Fall 2009 and Spring 2010 term s students enrolled in the Student Success course were invited to participate in the Road Map to Success convocation. Convocation is an assembly where students are introduced to the Road Map to Success program. At convocation, students interested in participating in the

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54 Road Map to Success program congregate d on one campus. Faculty members were introduced to students and administrators were presenters who provided information to students about college resource s. A keynote motivational speaker was an element of the program to encourage students to participate in Road Map to Success and promote student success and persistence in college. Students were asked to complete a Road Map Pre Assessment Survey at convoc ation. During the semester, participants complete d the required tasks to earn points and achieve the $500 reward at the end of the term ( see Appendix A). Students, who d id not complete the required tasks d id not receive the scholarship reward. At the c onclusion of the term, successful completers and non completers w ere asked to take a Road Map Post Assessment Survey. Data were collected from each pre and post assessment survey completed by participants. Each campus ha d student enrollment in the Stude nt Success course and participants in the Road Map to Success program. Participants involved in this study were enrolled at one of the four college campuses. Instruments At the beginning of the Road Map to Success program, students were given a Pre Ass essment Survey, a paper and pencil method containing four Likert scale questions ranging from Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree. An open ended question was included to obtain analytic information regarding expected learning outcomes (Appendix B). Upon completion of the program, students received a Post Assessment paper and pencil s urvey containing the same four Likert scale questions ranging from Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree. Two additional open ended questions were included to obtain analytic information regarding learning outcomes and program improvements (Appendix C).

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55 Data Collection and Analysis Results from the pre and post assessment surveys were collected by the institution and analyzed by the researcher The numerical data from the res ults in both the pre and post assessment survey were analyzed using a standard t test for the following research questions: Does a significant difference exist in demographics ( i.e. age) between students who completed a S tudent S uccess program and those who did not successfully complete a S tudent S uccess program ? Does a significant difference exist in GPA between students who completed a S tudent S uccess program and those who did not successfully complete a S tudent S uccess program ? Does a significant dif ference exist in the number of credit hours enrolled between students who completed a S tudent S uccess program and those who did not successfully complete a S tudent S uccess program ? Do students who complete a S tudent S uccess program demonstrate higher leve ls of persistence in college than those who did not successfully complete a S tudent S uccess program ? The categorical data from the results in both the pre and post assessment survey were analyzed using a standard chi square test for th e following research questions: Does a significant difference exist in demographics ( i.e. race, and gender) between students who completed a S tudent S uccess program and those who did not successfully complete a S tudent S uccess program ? Does a significant difference exist in the development of life goals between students who completed a S tudent S uccess program and those who did not successfully complete a S tudent S uccess program ? Does a significant difference exist in the development of a financial plan b etween students who completed a S tudent S uccess program and those who did not successfully complete a S tudent S uccess program ? Does a significant difference exist in the development of an educational plan between students who completed a S tudent S uccess p rogram and those who did not successfully complete a S tudent S uccess program ?

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56 Does a significant difference exist in the identification of strengths and talents between students who completed a S tudent S uccess program and those who did not successfully co mplete a S tudent S uccess program ? The statistical data collected by the institution w ere used by the researcher to compare the Road Map to Success completers with the non completers. A database of Road Map to Success participants in the Fall 2009 and Spri ng 2010 semesters was created for both pre and post assessment surveys using statistical software package (S AS version 9 2 ). Student demographic and credit hour information was collected directly from institution data sources and entered into the same dat abase. Based on pre and post assessment survey results, analytic information was collected from open ended responses. The purpose of the open ended questions was to address students with follow up questions about the data collected from the surveys, to allow students to respond to the results of the student survey, and to bring forth more specific observations and comments on the Road Map to Success program. This study included 180 pre and post survey assessments with open ended questions to obtain st udent reactions The researcher reviewed all surveys collected by the institution from both completers and non completers of the Road M ap to S uccess program. The responses were reviewed and analyzed All responses from participants provided information t hat was considered useful by the researcher. Once the pre and post survey assessments were reviewed the researcher transcribed her and completed the coding process. As detailed in Appendix D t he researcher utilized domain analysis, as outlined by Spradley (1979) to analyze the student reactions in the open ended responses As noted by Spradley (1979), an effective procedure utilized in identifying domains is the use of universal semantic relationships (p. 107). Res earch has suggested that in any

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57 given culture there are a limited number of potential semantic relationships occur often less than a dozen (p. 107). After the participant responses were reviewed the researcher was responsible for the transcription and co ding of each pre and post survey assessment In evaluating th e data, it was important to rely on developing themes. The researcher analyze d the participant responses to seek explanations from the research question s The subjectivity of the researcher played an important function in the evaluation of the data. While subjectivity of the researcher is regarded negatively in a quantitative study, it is an element of the research process in a qualitative case study. Kemmis (1999) nsists in the imagination of the case and the Glesne (2006) added, subjectivity should be monitored, and Y ou increase your awareness of the ways it might distort, but you also increase your aware subjectivity, b ut one can learn enough that is consequential about selves generated in particular research situations to be able to make use of this knowledge and be This study was intended to analyze collected data about factors and behaviors associated with successful completion of a community college S tudent S uccess program using quantita tive data and anecdotal evidence from open ended survey responses in order for the results to have validity. According to Lincoln and Denzin (2000), data from both the quantitative data and the anecdotal evidence can be used to compare data gathered by di fferent me thods of collection (p. 445). After all the

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58 statistical data w ere reviewed and analyzed, categories and themes for organizing the anecdotal participant responses were analyzed and identified. Stake (2000) characterized multiple methods of data collection To analyze the quantitative data and the written responses from participants together the procedure for data collection a re varied, as well as the sources. In this study, data collection was accomplished by analyzing statistical data from pre and post assessment surveys and analysis of the anecdotal data from open ended responses addressed on each survey. Criteri on The cri terion is explained by a narrative analysis of the analytic information, disciplined subjectivity of the participant responses, and quantitative data The criterion was considered collectively by the researcher as data were interpreted and presented. Du e to the subjective relationship of the open ended response data difficulty of ensuring va lidity in a case study exists. a guide to the analysis of the participant responses to ensure validity of the results and was met through a use of multiple methods of data collection. The instruments used in this study were created b y the institution and remain in tact. Validity was b ased on the results from previous data collected by the instutition. Summary Robert K. Yin (1984) defined the case study research method as 1) an empirical inquiry to investigate a contemporary phenomen on within its real life context, 2) when

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59 the bounda ries between phenomenon and context are not clearly evident and 3) m ultiple sources of evidence to be used (p. 23). This case study investigated students within a particular community college S tudent S uccess program to identify factors associated with at risk students This chapter defined the research design, methodology, setting, population, data analysis and collection of this case study. Chapter 4 will provide the research findings for the case study and C hapter 5 will provide conclusion and recom mendations for further study.

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60 Figure 3 1 Methodology for Data Collection Mandated or Voluntarily Enrolled in Student Success Course Voluntarily Participated in Road Map to Success Program Completed Pre Assessment Survey Completed Post Assessment Survey Written Responses Written Responses Data entered in Excel Database SAS Version 9.2 Themes Identified Themes Identified

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61 Table 3 1 Demographics of Study Summary of Statistics n=180 Gender Male % (n) 27 % (49) Female % (n) 73 % (131) Age in Years Mean (SD) 23.7 (8.6) Education GPA Mean (SD) 3.2 (0.7) Pre Credit Hour Mean (SD) 20.6 (16.0) Post Credit Hour Mean (SD) 37.3 (17.9) Race Asian % (n) 3% (5) Black % (n) 35% (63) Hispanic % (n) 29% (52) Other % (n) 10% (19) White % (n) 23% (41)

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62 Ta ble 3 2 Demographics of the C ollege Credit Students Number Percent Age in Years Me an 23.4 Credit Enrollment 55,302 100 % Gender Male 23,844 43.1 % Female 26,386 57.1 % Unknown 213 0.4% Ethnicity Asian 2,741 5.0 % Black 9,190 16.6 % Hispanic 15,200 27.5 % Other 384 0.7 % White 21,684 39.2 % Unknown 6,102 11.0 % Degree Status AA 27,291 49.3 % AAS 1,117 2.0 % AS 8,344 15.1 % Non Degree 11,168 20.2 % Awaiting 7,382 13.3 %

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63 CHAPTER 4 DATA ANAYLSIS This chapter presents th e quantitative data of the study and the ; identifying factors and behaviors of successful completion in a community college student success program. The specific data collected reflected factors such as g ender, GPA, race and credit hours enrolled while p articipating in the study, as well as the number of credit hours enrolled two semesters following the S tudent S uccess program. The data also reflected behaviors such as the development of an education plan, financial plan, life goals and the identificati on of strengths and talents during participation in the Road Map to Success program. All data are based on a level of significance of .05. Research Question 1 Does a significant difference exist in demographics ( i.e. age gender, and race ) between stu dents who completed a S tudent S uccess program and those who did not successfully complete a S tudent S uccess program ? Data w ere collected from students who participated in the Road Map to Success program in the Fall 2009 and Spring 2010 term s Students su bmitted pre and post assessment surveys. Some surveys were incomplete or participant s did not follow up with a post assessment survey which could not be used for this study resulting in n=180. Tables 4 1 and 4 2 reveal the demographic data between stud ents who completed the Road Map to Success program and those who did not successfully complete the Road Map to Success program A Mantel Haenszel Chi S quare test was used to evaluate the gender relationship between the completers and non completers. N o gender differences existed between completers and non completers (p value, 0.9643). Due to data sparseness in some of

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64 race between completers and non completers. A si gnificant relationship existed between race and successful completion (p value, 0.0202). Approximately 29.3% of b lack students completed the program successfully; however 55 % did not successfully complete the Road Map to Success program. Approximately 26 .4% of w hite students successfully completed the program and only 10% were considered non completers. The relationship between age and successful completion was determined using a standard t test. No significant relationship existed between age and compl eters or non completers in the Road Map to Success program (p value, 0.5742). Research Question 2 Does a significant difference exist in GPA between students who completed a S tudent S uccess program and those who did not successfully complete a S tudent S u ccess program ? A strong correlation existed between a student's GPA and completion of the program. Completers have a mean GPA of 3.4 whereas non completers have a mean GPA of 2.5 (p value, <.0001). Table 4 3 identifies the GPA relationship between comple ters and non completers in the Road Map to Success p rogram. Research Question s 3 and 4 Does a significant difference exist in the number of credit hours enrolled between students who completed a S tudent S uccess program and those who did not successfully complete a S tudent S uccess program ? Do students who complete a S tudent S uccess program demonstrate higher levels of persistence in college than those who did not successfully complete a S tudent S uccess program? Participants of this study were enrolled in a Student Success course. As part of the S tudent S uccess class, students were eligible to participate in the Road Map to Success program. The number of credit hours was identified for stude nts at the entry of

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65 the program, reflecting the cumulative numbe r of credit hours the participant s earned while enrolled for the term in which they entered the Road Map to Success p rogram. To determine student persistence, data were collected on the number of credit hours participants accumulated two semesters after p articipation in the program. Table 4 4 reflects the number of credit hours participants completed during and after the program. The relationship between the number of credit hours students ha d accumulated when the y enter ed the program show ed significanc e (p value, 0.0681). Completers were taking more credit hours (mean 21.6) when they enroll ed in the Road Map to Success program. Completers continue d to enroll in a greater number of credit hours after they complete d the program (mean, 38.4). The number s of credit hours that participants accumulate d two semesters after the program also showed significance (0.0825). Non completers completed fewer number of credit hours when they beg a n the Road Map to Success program and continue d taking fewer numbers of c redit hours after the program as opposed to the completers of the Road Map to Success program. Research Question 5 Does a significant difference exist in the development of an educational plan between students who completed a S tudent S uccess program and those who did not successfully complete a S tudent S uccess program ? As part of the Road Map to Success program, students were taught how to create and education plan based on the participant developmen tal advising software m odel. Table 4 5 displays the survey results for the pre and post assessments for completers and non completers for the development of an educational plan.

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66 The relationship between the completers and non completers for the pre assessment survey revealed significance (p value, 0.0 429 ). Only 62.9% of Road Map completers indicate d they ha d created an education plan before they beg a n the Road Map to Success program. A higher percentage of non completers indicated strongly agree or agree on the pre assessm ent survey. Approximately 87.5% of the non completers indicated they ha d created an educational plan prior to the start of the Road Map to Success program. The relationship between the completers and non completers for the post assessment survey showed s ignificance (p value, 0. 0820 ). After the Road Map to Success program, 100% of completers indicated they ha d created an educational plan with a response of either strongly agree or agree One hundred percent of the non completers also responded they had created educational plans. Eighty percent of the non completers answered strongly agree with a 20% response of agree Research Question 6 Does a significant difference exist in the development of life goals between students who completed a S tudent S ucce ss program and those who did not successfully complete a S tudent S uccess program ? Throughout the Road Map to Success program and Student Success course curriculum, participants were encouraged to develop life goals. Table 4 6 displays the pre and post as sessment survey results for completers and non completers for the development of life goals. No significant relationship existed between completers and non completers of the Road Map to Success program for the pre assessment survey and the development of l ife goals (p value, 0.2460). A higher percentage of non completers indicated they ha d developed life goals with 67.5% of participants with responses of strongly agree or

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67 agree Only 62.9% of the completers replied they had identified life goals prior to completion of the Road Map to Success program. No significant relationship existed between completers and non completers of the Road Map to Success program for the post assessment survey and the development of life goals (p value, 0.3610). However, m ore completers responded they developed life goals from the post assessment survey. Approximately 97.2 % of respondents answered strongly agree or agree for the development of life goals. Non completers had fewer responses at 92.5%. Research Question 7 Does a significant difference exist in the development of a financial plan between students who completed a S tudent S uccess program and those who did not successfully complete a S tudent S uccess program ? During the Road Map to Success program and Student S uccess course curriculum, participants were provided instructions about how to develop a financial plan to fund their college education with use of the college electronic resources. Table 4 7 displays the pre and post assessment survey results for comple ters and non completers for the completion of a financial plan. No significant relationship existed between completers and non completers of the Road Map to Success program for the pre assessment survey and the development of a financial plan (p value, 0 .3748). A higher percentage of non completers indicated they ha d developed a financial plan with 55% of participants with responses of strongly agree or agree Only 53.6% of the completers replied they had developed a financial plan prior to completion o f the Road Map to Success program.

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68 No significant relationship existed between completers and non completers of the Road Map to Success program for the post assessment survey and the development of a financial plan (p value, 0.2719). However, more co mpleters responded they had developed a financial plan for their college education from the post assessment survey. Approximately 90.8 % of respondents answered strongly agree or agree for the development of a financial plan. Non completers had fewer res ponses at 80%. Fewer completers responded they did not have a financial plan than the non completers on the post assessment survey. Approximately 8.5% of completers either responded neither agree or disagree, disagree or strongly disagree ; as opposed to 20% of non completers who indicated they did not hav e a financial plan to fund post secondary education. Research Question 8 Does a significant difference exist in the identification of strengths and talents between students who completed a S tudent S ucce ss program and those who did not successfully complete a S tudent S uccess program ? With use of personality and inventory tests, participants in the Road Map to Success program were encouraged to identify their strengths and talents. Table 4 8 displays t he pre and post assessment survey results for completers and non completers and the identification of individual strengths and talents. No significant relationship existed between completers and non completers of the Road Map to Success program for the pre assessment survey and the identification of strengths and talents (p value, 0.05258). A higher percentage of completers indicated they ha d identified personal strengths and talents with 88.5% of participants with responses of strongly agree or agree. Only 85% of the non completers replied they had

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69 identified individual strengths and talents prior to completion of the Road Map to Success program. No significant relationship existed between completers and non completers of the Road Map to Success program for the post assessment survey and the identification of strengths and talents (p value, 0.1622). However, more completers responded they had identified strengths and talents from th e post assessment survey. Approximately 97.8 % of respondents ans wered strongly agree, or agree for the identification of strengths and talents. Non completers had slightly fewer responses at 92.5%. Fewer completers responded they had not identified strengths and talents than the non completers on the post assessment survey. Only 2.1% of completers either responded neither agree or disagree, disagree, or strongly disagree as opposed to 7.5% of non completers who did not identify their individual strengths and talents. This chapter reported the outcomes for the facto rs associated with at risk students in a community college S tudent S uccess program. It answered R esearch Q uestions 1 through 8. Chapter 5 will discuss the anecdotal evidence from this study, conclusions and recommendations for further study.

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70 T ab le 4 1 Gender and Race D ifferences between Completers and Non Completers of the Road Map to Success Program Note: A Mantel Haenszel Chi S quare test was used to calculate gender statistics. Due late race statistics with a .05 level of significance. Completers Non Completers p value Gender Female 72.9 % 72.5 % 0.9643 Male 27.1 % 27.5 % Race Asian 2.9 % 2.5 % 0.0202 Black 29.3 % 55.0 % Hispanic 31.4 % 20.0 % Other 10.0 % 12.5 % White 26.4 % 10.0 %

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71 Table 4 2 Age D ifferences between Completers and Non Completers of the Road Map to Success Program Mean (SD) p value Age Completer 23.8 (8.9) 0.5742 Non Completer 23.0 (7.7) Note: A standard t test was used to calculate age data with a .05 level of significance. Table 4 3 Grade Point Averages (GPA) for S tudents W ho S uccessfully C ompleted the Road Map to Success Program and T hose W ho D id N ot S uccessfully C ompl ete Road Map to Success Program Mean (SD) p value GPA Completer 3.4 (0.5) <0.0001 Non Completer 2.5 (0.8) Note: A standard t test was used to calculate GPA data with a .05 level of significance.

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72 Table 4 4 Credit H ours A ccumul ated W hile Enrolled in the Road Map to Success Program and N umber of C redit H ours A ccumulated T wo S emesters A fter the Road Map to Success Program for Fall 2009 and Spring 2010 P articipants Mean (SD) p value Number of Credit Hours Pre RoadMap Comp leter 21.6 (16.9) 0.0681 Non Completer 17.2 (12.0) Number of Credit Hours Post RoadMap Completer 38.4 (18.6) 0.0825 Non Completer 33.4 (14.9) Note: A standard t test was used to calculate credit hour data with a .05 level of significa nce.

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73 Table 4 5 D evelopment of an E ducational P lan between S tudents W ho C ompleted the Road Map to Success Program and T hose W ho D id N ot Successfully C omplete the Road Map to Success Program Education Plan Pre Assessment Survey Post Assessmen t Survey Completer % Non Completer % p value Completer % Non Completer % p value Strongly Agree 30.0 % 32.5 % 0.0429 91.4 % 80.0 % 0.0820 Agree 32.9 % 55.0 % 8.6 % 20.0 % Neither Agree or Disagree 20.7 % 7.5 % 0.0 % 0.0 % Disagree 12.9 % 5.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % Strongly Disagree 3.6 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % of significance.

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74 Table 4 6 D evelopment of L ife G oals B etween S tudents W h o C ompleted the Road Map to Success Program and T hose W ho D id N ot S uccessfully C omplete the Road Map to Success Program Life Goals Pre Assessment Survey Post Assessment Survey Completer % Non Completer % p value Completer % Non Comple ter % p value Strongly Agree 22.1 % 37.5 % 0.2460 67.9 % 67.5 % 0.3610 Agree 42.1 % 30.0 % 29.3 % 25.0 % Neither Agree or Disagree 23.6 % 27.5 % 2.9 % 7.5 % Disagree 10.0 % 5.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % Strongly Disagree 2.1 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 %

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75 Table 4 7 D evelopment of a F inancial P lan b etween S tudents W ho C ompleted the Road Map to Success Program and T hose W ho D id N ot S uccessfully C omplete the Road Map to Success Program Financial Plan Pre Assessment Survey Post Assessment Survey Completer % Non Completer % p value Completer % Non Completer % p value Strongly Agree 19.3 % 27.5 % 0.3748 52.9 % 47.5 % 0.2719 Agree 34.3 % 27.5 % 37.9 % 32.5 % Neither Agree or Disagree 29.3 % 37.5 % 7.1 % 17.5 % Disagree 12.1 % 7.5 % 1.4 % 2.5 % Strongly Disagree 5.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % a with a .05 level of significance.

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76 Table 4 8 Identification of S trengths and T alents between S tudents W ho C ompleted the Road Map to Success Program and T hose Who D id N ot Successfully C omplete the Road Map to Success Program Strengths and Talents Pre Assessment Survey Post Assessment Survey Completer % Non Completer % p value Completer % Non Completer % p value Strongly Agree 37.1 % 45.0 % 0.5258 65.7 % 57.5 % 0.1622 Agree 51.4 % 40.0 % 32.1 % 35.0 % N either Agree or Disagree 10.7 % 15.0 % 2.1 % 5.0 % Disagree 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 2.5 % Strongly Disagree .71 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 %

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77 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION OF FINDIN GS Chapter 5 presents a case study analysis of the research questions in Chapter 4 Using the me thodology described in Chapter 3 the emergent themes are presented to describe the factors associated with identifying at risk students in a community college S tudent S uccess program based on the anecdotal written responses from the survey instrument The findings are discussed from the quantitative data and anecdotal evidence from the pre and post assessment survey. Reco mmendations for the institution, implications for higher education administrators, and conclusions are summarized. GPA According to the quantitative evidence revealed in Chapter 4 factors associated with at risk students in a community college S tudent S u ccess program are GPA, race, and student persistence. Students with a higher GPA are more likely to complete the Road Map to Success progr am than students with lower GPA s (p value, <0.0001). This significance was also demonstrated by the anecdotal evidenc e reported by participants. More non completers responded about improving GPA on the pre assessment survey (22%) than the completer responses (2%). One non completer female participant whose GPA was 3.0, noted in the pre assessment survey, to pass all my Another non completer male participant focused on grades by stating, His GPA was a 2.68 at the time of his written responses on the pre assessment survey.

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78 Only 2% of co mpleter participants responded they wanted to increase their GPA. A male completer participant response stated, His GPA was a 3.25 when he completed the pre assessment survey. The other participant was a female completer whose GPA was 3.5, who indicated a desire to The responses from the completer participants were f rom those participants with GPA s were already considered high and indicated a factor of success for the program. Because GPA was a factor for successful completion of the program, faculty, advisors and staff can identify students at risk for non completion. Similar data also ali gn ed with GPA and student success from previous research discussed in Chapter 2 The collaboration and research conducted by Louisiana State University, University of Georgia and the University of Illinois at Chicago found a relationship between students with high GPA s and financially stability. This study found that s tudents with higher GPA s were more likely to be financially fit, which le d to higher success rates in college (Bodvarsson & Walker, 2004; Lyons, 2003). Demographics Gender No gender differe nces were reported between completer and non completer participants. Also, no significant anecdotal evidence was c ited in student responses on the pre and post assessment survey that gender was a factor for the successful completion of the Road Map to Su ccess program. The data previously discussed in C hapter 2 from the Faces of the Future report (2005) indicated that first generation students were more likely to be women. Because this study was a combination of

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79 traditional, nontraditional and first gene ration students, the data did not indicate any gender differences between completer and non completers in the Road Map to Success program. However, more females (73%) participated in this study than males (27%). Race Race was a significant factor in iden tifying at risk students (p value, 0.0202). However, anecdotal data did not align with the quantitative data. P articipants in both groups did not indicate in the student survey responses any discussion of race being a factor or concern for successful com pletion. The primary differences exist ed between b lack and w hite students. Black students were among the highest percentage of participants in the non completer group at 55% whereas w hite students comprise d only 10% of the non completers. Hispanic pa rticipants ha d the largest percentage of the completer group at 31.4% whereas b lack students were close behind at 29.3%. Approximately 26.4 % of the completer group participants were w hite, 2.9% were Asian and 10% of the completer group were of another race The findings from this study relate d to the findings of first generation study, The Faces of the Future (2005). Because Hispanic students were found with the largest population of first generation (53%), the more positive impact this S tudent S uccess pr ogram had a more positive impact for Hispanic completer s of the Road Map to Success program Age Age was not a significant factor to identify at risk student in the Road Map to Success program. No significant anecdotal evidence as suggested by partici pant responses in the pre and post assessment survey showed that age was a factor for successful completion.

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80 In contrast, previous research on student success indicated that age as a factor for success. According to the Attitudes of Incoming Adult Lea rners Report ( Noel Levitz, 2008 a ) discussed in Chapter 2 adult learners were more difficult to retain in higher education, with many more of them failing to complete their educational goals than traditional age students. The median age range for first ge neration students was 24 (Nomi, 2005). Although first generation students were starting college for the first time, they were not starting after high school graduation. The median age for this case study was approximately 24 years of age which indicated that the majority of students who participated in this program were not of traditional age. As a result, retention can be increased and participants can be encouraged to make the needed connections at the college for success. Student Persistence Accor ding to this study, significance occurred in student persistence as a n identifier of at risk students in the Road Map to Success program. More completers enrolled in a higher number of credit hours after successful completion ( m ean = 38.4 credit hours) th an the non completer participants ( m ean = 33.4). Participants in both groups indicated continuing courses as part of accomplishments they hope d to gain as a result of the program either through their education plan or life goals. A completer participant responded on her pre assessment survey that she would like to, Non completers also made remarks regarding student persistence on the pre assessment survey as accomplishments they hope d to gain from the R oad Map to Success program.

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81 One non Students who successfully complete d the Road Map to Succ ess program were more likely to continue taking a greater number of courses than the students who d id not successfully complete the Road Map to Success program. Those participants who indicated that self improvement as a result of the Road Map to Success program, were at risk for non completion. These pre ass essment comments regarding self improvement were also completed at the end of convocation for the Road Map to Success program Prior to the start of classes for each term, a motivational speaker a ttend ed convocation and addresse d students eager to participate in the Road Map to Success program Students le ft convocation enthusiastic, ready and motivated to begin the college term. Because students completed the pre assessment survey shortly after hearing the motivation speaker, the result in the high number of self improvement responses written on the survey likely increase d Development of an Education Plan and Life Goals The anecdotal evidence from the open ended responses on the pre and post assessment survey reveal ed that more non completers were interested in self improvement as a learning outcome for the program. On the pre assessment survey, students were asked to list two to three accomplishments they hope d to gain from the Road Map to S uccess program. Sixty six percent of the non completer group responded with a form of self improvement statement rather than help with creating an education plan or developing life goals.

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82 One non ty of commitment to my education, raise the quality of my work, and accomplish a better understanding of Another non completer participant declared I need to learn to stay in school so I The non completers of the program focused heavily on developing better skills for learning and motivation to continue taking courses in college. Only 18.5 % of non completers indicated that they wanted to develop an education plan. The anecdotal evidence did not align with the quantitative data. For the non completer group in the student responses, m ore focus was placed on life goals rather than the education plan. Approximately 87.5% of the non completers indicated that they began the program with an education plan already in place. Because an education plan was already believed to be in place by non completer participants, explain ed the primary focus towards the development of life goals. Only 67.5% of the non completer participants indicated that they had life goals in p lace when they started the program. Twenty nine percent of the non completers indicated that they would like to gain a better understanding of their life goals as a result of the program in the open ended responses. A non completer wanted clarity to his I hope to gain a lifelong experience as to what the campus is all about I hope that I will be able to develop goals that will send me on a smooth transition to my future career Another non ave a better understanding of what

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83 As previously stated, completer and non completer participant s both indicated that they developed an education plan before they beg an the program. Because the college imp lemented a developmental advising model, there is a component in the student electronic portal that allow ed students to create an education plan based on the degree major indicated in the college system. The system identifie d which courses students need t o complete, what they have successfully completed, and enabled them to create an education plan based on the college semester. The pre assessment survey did not indicate the reference to the education plan using the college program. The question listed o n the survey could likely be perceived differently by participants posing a limitation to the study The survey question could be clarified to identify the education plan using the college computer system and a more accurate response from students on the pre assessment survey would result Again, because these remarks were written by participants after convocation, students were motivated to succeed and eager to begin the college term. Speakers at convocation focus ed their d ambitions. These messages were fresh in the minds of the students when they completed the pre assessment survey at convocation. Even though the non completers were not successful in the Road Map to Success pro gram, 92.5 % of the participants indicated that they had developed l ife g oals and 100% responded that they had developed an education plan in the post assessment survey. Despite whether or not participants complete d the program, participants reported to have establish ed an education plan and life goals even if they thought they had them already in place before they started the Road Map to Success program.

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84 In prior research, the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (2006) found a correlation between career advising and number of credit hours enrolled. Only 19% of part time students indicated that they discussed a career plan with an advisor. On the other hand, 30% of full time students stated they ha d developed an education plan (CCSSE, 2006). Even though 88% of students indicated adv ising as important on the CCSSE (2006), 36% of students reported they rarely or never use d academic advising or planning services. Whether classified as part time or full time, these figures are low in comparison to the Road Map to Success program study. Both a high number of c ompleters and n on completers indicated that they had an education plan before and after the program in this study The National Freshman Attitudes Report (2008) reported 89.3% of incoming freshm e n stated they were committed to achie ving personal goals. These findings were better aligned with findings of the Road Map to Success program. However the National Freshman Attitudes Report (2008) also indicate d that while incoming freshm e n were highly committed, only half were likely to ac complish their goals due to lack of educational planning. Developing a Financial Plan The development of a financial plan had no significant relationship between the participants who completed the program versus the participants who did not complete the Road Map to Success program. However, an increase appeared in both groups who indicated that they had a financial plan before and after the program. Approximately 53.5% of completers and 55% of non completers indicated that they had a financial plan by i ndicating agree or strongly agree on the pre assessment survey. The numbers increased on the post assessment survey. Approximately 90.8% of the

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85 completers and 80% of the non completers responded they had developed a financial plan while participating in the Road Map to Success program. Participants referred to a financial plan in the written responses for both groups on the pre assessment survey. Nineteen percent of the completers indicated that they would like to develop a financial plan as a result of the program. Eleven percent of the non completers referenced a financial plan in the pre assessment survey find the financial resources to help pay for my college and achiev Another completer replied I hope to gain a better understanding or responsibility, as Non completer participants also referenced a financial plan as a potential learning outcome of the program on the pre assessment survey. One non completer participant wrote, Students also indicated on the po st assessment survey that the resources and creation of a financial plan were one of the most helpful requirements of the Road Map to Success program. Participants were asked to list two or three important parts of the Road Map to Success program The fin ancial plan had the most responses from the non c ompleter participants at 29%. The completers also thought the financial plan was a valuable learning experience at 28%. One completer stated, I h

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86 The non completers also responded with positive comments about the financial plan. One non learned how to manage my time and money wisely; this will help save time and energy get and there are people h Although 80% of the non completer group responded that they ha d a financial plan in place, 20% remain ed without a financial plan because they did not complete the Road Map to Success program. Only 8.5% of the completer group stated they did not have a financial plan. Even though no significant relationship existed between the completers and non completers in this study, prior research has found that financial stability is a factor for student succe ss in higher education. Lyons (200 4 ) found that one in three student s reported his financial situation was to affect the ability to complete a college degree. The National Freshman Attitudes Report (2008) found 63.7% of stud ents would like to speak with an advisor about getting financial aid to fund their education. Additionally, almost half (45%) of adult learners indicated that they had financial problems that were compared to approximate ly a quarter of the pa rticipants (27%) of traditional age students highlighting the correlation between age and financial planning. Identifying Strengths and Talents No significant relationship existed between the Road Map to Success program completers a nd non completers who ha d identified strengths and talents before or after the program. Approximately 88.5% of completers and 85% of no n completers indicated

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87 that they identified their strengths and talents before entering the Road Map to Success program b y selecting either s trongly a gree or a gree on the pre assessment survey. The written responses for the Road Map to Success completer were consistent with the statistical data. Sixteen percent of the Road Map to Success program completers indicated that t hey hoped to be able to identify their strengths and talents as a result of the program on the pre assessment survey. A completer Another completer participant stated, would like to learn more on myself and These statements indicate d that the participants would like to identify and develop more identity as successful student s However, only 2% of the non completer group indicated th e identification of strengths and talents as an accomplishment that they hoped to gain as a result of the program on the pre assessment survey. One non completer stated, everything to bett Few participants specifically identified strengths and talents as an accomplishment they hoped to gain from the program on the pre assessment survey But the non completers stated that some form of self improvement was a high priority. As previ ously mentioned 60% of non completer participants responded they hoped to gain some form of self improvement as a result of the Road Map to Success program. Many non completers indicated that they hoped to gain better study habits, time management skills staying on track academically, and staying positive.

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88 Student responses increased from the pre assessment to the post assessment survey demonstrating that both completers and non completers identified strengths and talents as a result of the Road Map to Success program. Completers increased the identification of strengths and talents from 88.5% on the pre assessment to 97.8% on the post assessment survey by responding either s trongly a gree or a gree Non completers also increased from the pre assessment survey (85%) to the post assessment survey (92.5%) by responding s trongly a gree or a gree to the identification of strengths and talents. On the post assessment survey, written responses also reflected learning gains for both the completers and non comp leters of the Road Map to Success program Nine percent of completers indicated that they learned to identify personal strengths and talents as a result of the program. I wil Another completer learned many things about Other participants learned how their strengths and talents would affect their choices academically. A completer participant Another completer wrote, Non comp leters also reported that they learned more about individual strengths and talents as a result of participating in the Road Map to Success program.

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89 Thirteen percent of the non completer group stated they gained more information about personal strengths a nd talents. One non completer participant stated, Another non completer wrote on his post assessment, inventory test I took, I think this will help me choose a career I want to pursue Although the responses came from the non completer group, students gained a better understanding of where they were developmentally and who they were as students. This knowledge will assist them academically in the future. Recommendations for the Institution Academic Advising has undergone remarkable changes during the past decade in higher education. Advisors in higher education are no longer clerical personnel who simply discuss academic matt ers with students regarding courses to complete. Developmental advising models promote holistic development intellectually, personally, and socially for college students. The purpose of this study was to identify factors associated with at risk students in a community college S tudent S uccess program at an institution where a developmental advising model was implemented. Although not every student complete d the Road Map to Success program, non completers and at risk students reported being positively imp acted by the requirements for participation and course curriculum in the Student Success course In the future, f aculty can increase student success by identifying students at risk for non completion of the Road Map to Success program. In Chapter 1 the significance of developmental advising was presented in two perspectives : ( 1) (Frost, 2003) ; ( 2)

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90 advise from a developmental perspective by observing students at work on life tasks in (Raushi, 1993). For this S tudent S uccess program to remain an effective program for college students of the college the following recommendations deserve consideration by the college administration. Mentoring The GPA and race were significant indicator s for successful completion of the Road Map to Success program. The Student Success program and course sh ould investigate options for student to student mentoring for those students participating in the Road Map to Success program. Students with higher GPA s would benefit by being paired w ith students who have lower GPA s. Students from various ethnic backgro unds could also work together in the program to increase st udent completers with lower GPA s. Advising It was evident from the data collected that c ollege advisors continue to be important for both completers and non completers of the Road Map to Success p rogram. Both groups of students had positive remarks on post assessment surveys regarding program advisors. Career activities and experiences in workshops were regarded as valuable learning components of the Road Map to Success program for both completer s and non completers. As financial pressures encroach on the college budget, and constant growth on the college campuses continues, the college will better serve at risk students if they continue and increase the number of program advisors available to th e Road Map to Success program students on each campus.

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91 Financial Literacy Program To increase the number of students who develop a financial plan, colleges should develop a financial literacy program similar to the financial literacy program implemented a t Texas Tech as discussed in Chapter 2. A financial literacy program for students would promote financial life skills needed during the first year of college which will encourage further personal growth for the future. Twenty percent of non completers remain ed without a financial plan who participated in the Road Map to Success program It is important for college administrators to understand that issues related to It is essen tial for the college to continue to offer more workshops and resources not only for students who participate in the Road Map to Success program but also for those students who do not participate in the Road Map to Success program Survey Instrument As a result of this study, students indicated that they entered the program with an both the pre assessment and post A future outcome to this survey statement is likely to end in a different result after clarification. B ecause the non completer groups of students do not successfully complete all requirements of the Road Map to Success program, obtaining post assessment results can be problematic For those students who complete the post assessment survey, an additional q uestion should be added to help obtain data on student motivation to

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92 succeed. Adding the open Road Map to Success program would obtain more data for analysis in the future. Implications for Higher Education Administrators In considering recommendations for other higher education institutions it is important to note that the institution used for this research has been considered a leader in development al education initiatives, which includes the ma ndate of the Student Success course for students who place in two preparatory classes. T he findings have the following implications for educators and administrators in higher education who are dedicated to improve student services and increase student per sistence in post secondary education : Explore opportunities for students to learn about the college such as a mandated new student orientation or student success program This orientation will help students and families understand the commitment necess ary for student success and make personal connections with faculty and staff which ha ve shown evidence for student success (CCSSE, 2006) Design an effective early intervention program, similar to the Road Map to Success program, which will provide a conn ection for students to use campus resources during the first weeks o f the first semester. This is critical for at risk students identified by this study Campus and student services should be evaluated on campuses to ensure services are adequate to meet st udent needs Data from evaluation s need to be reviewed and analyzed. Include findings in annual and strategic reports to implement in goal planning. Data will provide key information on what resources are needed to improve student services Implement a developmental advising program I f one is not already in place on campus that require s students to meet with advisors and/or mentors during high registration times throughout the academic year. Research from this study, as well as the Noel Levitz studie s, have shown students of all ages place a high value on academic advising ( Noel Levitz, 2008 a,b,c ) While student affairs professionals have done a remarkable job of integrating technology into many of the services provided to students (Hirt, Cain, Brya nt, & Williams, 2003), this integration has been independent of the development of

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93 distance education courses and academic programs. With several exceptions, student affairs professionals have been on the back burner in terms of topics associated with serv icing distance students. Distance students, as with traditional and non traditional students who attend campus, warrant the interest of student affairs professionals. After all, distance students are essentially the traditional students who use a different platform for education to attend higher education institutions. As technology enables institutions to offer distance education courses to students, it is important for student affairs to suggest opportunities for online students to connect with the instit ution. Areas for Further Research The findings of this study reflect there are factors associated with at risk students in this community college S tudent S uccess program. For continuous improvement, the following recommendations for further study are sug gested: 1. A longitudinal follow up study is recommended to determine student persistence and graduation rates among the Road Map to Success program participants in both the completer and non completer groups of students. 2. After revisions to the survey questio ns as previously mentioned in the recommendations, a follow up study with a new group of students may lead to different outcomes for program analysis. T he data collected from a follow up study may lead to better recruiting and retention for the program. 3. A qualitative study is recommended for students in each completer and non completer group. Focus groups could be formed to obtain further insight and retrospective comments that are important components of the im provement process in a learning centered i nstitution. 4. Prior to this study, the Student Success course was only taught by part time adjunct faculty. Since the implementation of the study, three new tenure track faculty positions have been added to the college for the Student Success course. A c omparison study between student success rates and faculty status could be conducted to determine if teacher preparedness is a factor for successful completion of the Road Map to Success program Conclusions T he majority of participants entered the Road Ma p to Success program highly motivated to complete the program, however some participants were at risk students and did not successfully complete the program. R ace GPA and number of credit hours

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94 have been identified in this study as factors identifying a t risk students for successful completion of a community college S tudent S uccess program. Previous research also showed behaviors contribute d to successful completion as well. The more students were actively engaged with faculty, staff and advisors, the m ore likely they were to persist and succeed in college (CCSSE, 2006) In conducting the research from this study, as well as analyzing research in prior similar studies, factors identifying at risk students were found to be interconnected. Students with place. Traditional age students were less likely to worry about finances than non traditional age students which result ed in non traditional age students altering academic goals and education plans. With the interconnections contained in these factors and behaviors, the necessity is obvious to identify students at risk for non completion of a community college S tudent S uccess program. Whether a first generation, a traditional, o r a non traditional student, personal connections w ere the unforeseen success factor in a college course or in a S tudent S uccess program, which were critical variable s that improve d the odds of student persistence evidenced by the written responses from pa rticipants a s evidenced by the CCSSE (2006) research, e stablishing personal connections at a higher education institution is crucial. Based on this study, with a S tudent S uccess program and a developmental advising model combined students reported the c onnection with faculty and advisors, and indicated that they were encouraged to develop and build personal relationships at the college

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95 APPENDIX A ROAD MAP ACTIVITY VERIFICATION FORM 2009 2010 Road Map to Success Award Activity Verification Form Awa rd Amount: $500 You must document the accomplishment of each activity through your academic transcript or by submitting an Activity Verification Form. An Academic Advisor will assist you through the process as you complete the 500 points and submit the a ppropriate paperwork. REMEMBER: Awards will be made on a first completed, first awarded basis, as long as funds are available Awards will be distributed during the first month of the following term. Students who earn a the award. Students applying for this award m ust be enrolled as a degree seeking student. Student Name VID# Required Activities: Points Earned Completion of SLS 1122 (Student Succes s) 100 75 Completion of c 50 C ompletion of Preparatory Course( s ) (if needed): ENC 0010 or ENC 0012 or EAP 1540 or 1640 100 75 Completion of c 50 REA 0001 or REA 0002 or EAP 1520 or 1620 100 75 Completion of c 50 MAT 0012C or MAT 0020C or MAT 0024C 100 75 Completion of c 50 Completion of an Educational Plan 50 Completion of Developmental A dvising Sequence (4 meetings) 100

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96 Optional Activities: Complete the Choices Inventory in the Career Developme nt Services Office 50 Participation in Tutoring Sessions (10 hours) 50 Participation in the s killshops, workshops or campus event (each workshop or eve nt, i.e., Start Right Convocation -25 points for each) Member involvement in a college club or organization 25 _________ Serving as an Elected Officer in a coll ege club or organization 50 Serving as a Volunteer Registered through the Stu dent Development Office (10 points for 1 hour served Max 100) I understand that I must complete all activities by the last Friday before finals begin in the semester I am applying. I understand the funds are disbursed on a first completed, first awarded basis, as long as funds are available.

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97 APPENDIX B ROAD MAP PRE ASSESSMENT SURVEY Term:__________________ Campus:_____________________ VID:_________________ Road Map to Success Program Pre Assessment We are conducting a study to provide the college with feedback for program improvement. Participation in this pre assessment should take about 5 minutes. There are no risks to you and all information will be submitted voluntarily. All information is subject to the Fam ily Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, which is designed to protect the privacy of educational records. Your participation in this assessment is totally voluntary and you may stop at any time. Please feel free to contact the Dean of Stud ents on your campus if you have any questions about the study. Or, for questions about survey participation, contact the Chair of the Institutional Review Board at irb@cc.edu. Read each of the following statements and check the ones that best describe if you agree or disagree with the statement based on the scale listed below. I am at least 18 years of age and completing this assessment constitutes my informed consent. Strongly Agree Neither Disagree Strongly Agree Agree or Disagree Disagree 1. I have developed an education plan 2. 3. I have developed a financial plan that will help fund my educational goals. 4. I know my individual strengths an d talents. 5. Please list 2 3 accomplishments you hope to gain from this program.

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98 APPENDIX C ROAD MAP POST ASSESSMENT SURVEY Term:__________________ Campus:_____________________ VID:_________________ Road Map to Success Program Post As sessment We are conducting a study to provide the college with feedback for program improvement. Participation in this pre assessment should take about 5 minutes. There are no risks to you and all information will be submitted voluntarily. All inform ation is subject to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, which is designed to protect the privacy of educational records. Your participation in this assessment is totally voluntary and you may stop at any time. Please feel free to contact the Dean of Students on your campus if you have any questions about the study. Or, for questions about survey participation, contact the Chair of the Institutional Review Board at irb@cc.edu. Read each of the following statements and ch eck th e ones that best describe if you agree or disagree with the statement based on the scale listed below. I am at least 18 years of age and completing this assessment constitutes my informed consent. Strongly Agree Neither Disagree Strongly Agree Agree or Disagree Disagree 1. I have developed an education plan 2. 3. I have developed a financial plan that will help fund my educational goals 4. I know m y individual strengths and talents 5. Please give us any suggestions you have for ways that we can improve the Road Map to Success Program. 6. Please list two or three of the most important things you learned through this program.

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99 APPENDIX D SPRAD 1. Strict Inclusion X is a kind of Y 2. Spatial X is a place in Y, X is a part of Y 3. Cause effect X is a result of Y, X is a cause of Y 4. Rationale X is a reason for doing Y 5. Location for Action X is a place for do ing Y 6. Function X is used for Y 7. Means end X is a way to do Y 8. Sequence X is a step (stage) in Y 9. Attribution X is an attribute (characteristic) of Y

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100 APPENDIX E DATABASE DICTIONARY Name Variable Type Type Values Descriptio n Gnd Gender Char M = Male F= Female Gender of participant Age Age Num Age of participant Race Race Char A = Asian B = Black H = Hispanic O = Other W = White Race of participant GPA GPA Num Cumulative GPA of participant after Road Map to Success CHpre Credit Hours Num Cumulative Number of Credit Hours earned by participant during Road Map participation EdPl Educational Plan Char SA= Strongly Agree A = Agree NAD = Neither Agree or d isagree D = Disagree SD = Strongly Disagree Development of Ed ucational Plan from participant LG Life Goals Char SA= Strongly Agree A = Agree NAD = Neither Agree or Disagree D = Disagree SD = Strongly Disagree Development of Life Goal from participant

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101 FinPl Financial Plan Char SA= Strongly Agree A = Agree NAD = Nei ther Agree or Disagree D = Disagree SD = Strongly Disagree Development of a Financial Plan from participant ST Strengths and Talents Char SA= Strongly Agree A = Agree NAD = Neither Agree or Disagree D = Disagree SD = Strongly Disagree Identification of St rengths and Talents from participant CHpost Credit Hours Num Cumulative Number of Credit Hours completed by participant two terms after Road Map SuccComp Successful Completion of Road Map to Success Bin Y = Yes N = No Participant completion of the Road Map to Success p rogram

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102 APPENDIX F TEST OF HYPOTHESIS Research Question Specific Aim Test of Hypothesis (TOH) # 1 a. Does gender relate to the successful completion of the Road Map to Success program? e # 1 b. Does age relate to the successful completion of the Road Map to Success program? Ho: = 0 # 2 c. Does GPA relate to the successful completion of the Road Map to Success program? Ho: = 0 # 1 d. Does race relate to the successful co mpletion of the Road Map to Success program? succ succ # 3 e. Does the number of credit hours enrolled relate to the successful completion of the Road Map to Success program? Ho: = 0 # 6 f. Does the devel opment of an education plan relate to the successful completion of the Road Map to Success program? succ succ # 4 g. Does the development of life goals relate to the successful completion of the Road Map to Success program? succ succ # 5 h. Does the development of a financial plan relate to the successful completion of the Road Map to Success program? succ succ

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103 # 7 i. Does the identi fication of personal strengths and talents relate to the successful completion of the Road Map to Success program? succ succ # 8 j. Does successful completion of the Road Map to Success program relate to credit hou rs after the Road Map program? succ succ

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104 REFERENCES ASSIST. Assist. Retrieved March 3, 2009, from Welcome to Assist: http:// www.assist.org Association of Communi ty College Trustees, the Center for Community College Student Engagement, the League for Innovation in the Community College, the National Organization for Staff and Organizational Development, Phi Theta Kappa. (2010). Democracy's c olleges: A c all to a ctio n. Washington, DC: American Association of Colleges and Schools. Bassey, M. (1999). Case study research in educational settings Philadelphia: Open University Press Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. (2010). About the f oundation R etrieved November 17, 2010, from B ill & Melinda Gates Foundation: http://www.gatesfoundation.org/about/Pages/overview.aspx Bodvarsson, O.B., & Walker, R.L. (2004). Do parental cash transfers weaken performance in college? Economics of Education Review, 23 (5), 483 495. Burck, C. (2005). Comparing qualitative research methodologies for systematic research: The use of grounded theory, discourse analysis and narrative analysis. Journal of Family Therapy, 27 237 262. Burnett, S. (2006, December 18). Student e n gagement: More counseling, tutoring and better communication with professors are considered key to improving the success of community college students. Community College Week pp. 6 8. Campus Computing Project, The (1999, October). The 1999 n ational s urvey of i nformation t echnology in h igher e ducation Retrieved November 23, 2010, from The Continuing Challenge of Instructional Integration and User Support: http://cclp.mior.ca/Reference %20Shelf/PDF_OISE/1999 CCP.pdf Castillo, E. J. (2007). Creating vital students of color communities in the first year with academic advising. In M. S. Hunter, B. McCalla Wriggins, & E. R. White (Eds.), Academic advising: New insights for teaching and lear ning in the first year (pp. 141 156). Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina; Manhattan, KS: National Academic Advising Association. Center for Community College Student Engagement. (2009). Making c onnections: d imensions of s tudent e ngagement. Austin: University of Texas at Austin. College of Education, University of Florida. (2008). Community c ollege f utures a ssembly. Retrieved February 24, 2009, from Bellwether Awards: http://www.educa tion.ufl.edu/Futures/bellwether.html

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109 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Molly McIntire was born in Lancaster Ohio and has lived in C entral Florida for 36 years. She attended elementary, middle and high school in the Polk County Public School system in Lakeland, Florida. While earning h er Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education at the University of Alabama she completed her internships working with elementary students. This teaching experience confirmed her desire to become an educator Upon completing h er degree in Alabama she moved back to Lakeland and began teaching sixth grade math and science in the middle school she e ducation at National Louis University in Tampa, Florida. Whil e working on her Master of Education degree, she took an interest in higher education. She began teaching at Lakeland Senior High School to gain experience teaching in secondary education. Working with older students confirmed her interest in higher educ ation. She was offered a position at Valencia Community College in Orlando, Florida and began her career in higher education working in student services as a health science advisor and teaching as an adjunct. After five years working in health sciences a dvisement, she assumed the role as Director for the Educator Preparation Institute at Valencia Community College, where s he is currently employed. In the fall of 2007 Molly started h er doctoral program at the University of Florida one week after she mar ried Brae McIntire. In May 2011, s he was awarded the Doctor of Education degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of Florida.