TRIO academic services is an organization devoted to providing support to students identified as first-generation in their family to have completed 4-year college degree and meeting income guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Education. The support comes in the form of identifying promising students, preparing them for college level curriculum, and providing information on admissions, financial aid opportunities, tutoring and general academic counseling support. The goal is not only to integrate less advantaged students into the higher education system, but to provide them with the tools and orientation they need to move towards achieving economic independence, self-sufficiency and becoming productive contributors to society. Mixed method research design which included quantitative (TRIO end of the year student survey) and qualitative (Focus groups). The quantitative data was collected on 253 TRIO/SSS MJC students between academic years 2005 and 2007. Student status, academic performance, retention, attrition, as well as demographics (gender, age, ethnicity. Data was analyzed statistically using three parametric statistical method examined the relationships between students’ gender, age, ethnicity, degree status, GPA, and time lapse period before accessing TRIO counseling services. The analysis revealed that several factors play a role in predicting student success, such as age (non-traditional students over 30 tend to do better than younger students). Financial aid for this group, access to financial assistance is critical for facilitating and supporting the academic process of the student. A comparison of determined financial need versus actual award amount received, suggested that only one fourth (26.9%) of the students received the full projected amount of financial need, while (41.5%) did not. Services received many students waited a long time-one year or more b before accessing TRIO services and those who waited longer did less well in school. The second (qualitative) analysis consisted of two focus groups. The themes patterns that emerged in the qualitative analysis were gender & GPA; Age difference & GPA; degree of access to student services and GPA; degree of access to student services & degree outcome. The focus groups provided the personal experiences that impacted the retention and attrition rates of students. The qualitative research design confirmed the quantitative findings, which included counseling services as being the most important factor that influenced student success in TRIO/SSS at Modesto Junior College.
|Commitee:||Donahue, David M., Ketell, Diane, Nicholson, Julie|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 70/06, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Community college education, Education finance, School counseling, Higher education|
|Keywords:||California, Community college, Counseling, Financial aid, First-generation, First-generation students, Modesto Junior College, Student support services, TRIO|
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