Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Study of the Theory of Mattering and Marginality in Relation to Nontraditional College Students in a Private, Midwestern, Single-purpose College
by Hayter, Sonya M., Ed.D., Lindenwood University, 2015, 132; 3732102
Abstract (Summary)

The demand for individuals holding a college degree is expected to increase by 16% by the year 2018 with approximately 66% of all jobs requiring some form of post-high school training (Kelly & Strawn, 2011). Also increasing in numbers is the number of nontraditional college students seeking a degree. Nontraditional students returning to school often have outside barriers that can challenge degree attainment, placing them at risk for dropping out. Using Schlossberg’s (1989) theories of mattering and marginality as a guide and through a qualitative approach to research, data were collected from a private, Midwestern, single-purpose college to explore what nontraditional students perceived as either mattering or marginal during their educational experience. During the open-ended interview format, nontraditional students and faculty were asked questions focusing on their perception of the educational experience inclusive of what they felt contributed or did not contribute to their experience. A total of 12 nontraditional students and three faculty members within a cohort program participated with three themes rising from the data: connectivity, tenacity, and sacrifice. The findings were consistent and validated Schlossberg’s (1989) theories of mattering and marginality with students and faculty expressing an insightful and very distinct connection with each other during the program resulting in increased motivation and fortitude to stay the course.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: DeVore, Sherry
Commitee: Bishop, Rhonda, Swofford, Brad
School: Lindenwood University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Missouri
Source: DAI-A 77/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Education, Higher education
Keywords: Nontraditional college students, Post high school training, Theories of mattering and marginality
Publication Number: 3732102
ISBN: 978-1-339-18770-9
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