Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Narrative Study Examining the Obstacles Faced and Strategies Used by Undergraduate Teacher Education Majors Who Began Their Coursework at a Community College
by Gronberg-Quinn, Linda S., Ph.D., Notre Dame of Maryland University, 2018, 137; 10825921
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to identify the obstacles faced and strategies used to overcome those obstacles by undergraduate teacher education majors who began their coursework at a community college and completed an Associate of Arts in Teaching (AAT) degree in teacher education. In this study, the questions asked of the participants touched on the experiences of two groups of seven individuals each, all of whom earned AAT degrees in teacher education. The AAT was initially developed to provide a seamless transfer from the community college to the 4-year college. An oversight council continues to oversee the implementation and efficacy of this degree. 1. One group of prospective teachers, who began their studies at a community college, earned their AAT degrees, and transferred to and graduated from a 4-year teacher education program, became certified, employed teachers. 2. The second group began their studies at a community college, earned their AAT degrees, and then discontinued the journey at some point after graduation from the community college.

Using the narrative inquiry approach of qualitative research, participants were interviewed, the interviews were transcribed, and the participants validated those transcripts. Analysis of the interviews revealed two major themes in the obstacles faced by participants (college conditions and struggles in their personal lives) and two themes in the strategies used to overcome those obstacles (seeking and accessing a support network and mining the grit within themselves).

A binary logistic regression was utilized to evaluate the effect of the obstacles (college conditions and struggles in their personal lives) on the participant’s outcome (the participant became a certified, employed teacher or not becoming an employed, certified teacher). Results indicated that the greater the number of obstacles a student experienced, the lower the likelihood that student became a certified teacher. That effect was statistically significant for personal obstacles faced. However, the effects regarding the strategies utilized to overcome the obstacles were not significant.

Recommendations include addressing college instructors’ problematic interaction with students and the continuing difficulty with the transfer experience that the AAT was to address at its inception.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Slear, Sharon
Commitee: Fenster, Mark, McDonough, Maureen
School: Notre Dame of Maryland University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Maryland
Source: DAI-A 80/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Community college education, Teacher education
Keywords: Associate of Arts in Teaching, Obstacles, Retention, Transfer
Publication Number: 10825921
ISBN: 978-0-438-51536-9
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