Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Parents' Experience of Involvement in the Lives of Community College Students: A Phenomenological Study
by Eisenbeiser, Colleen K., Ph.D., Northcentral University, 2012, 140; 3504769
Abstract (Summary)

Parents today are accustomed to participating in their students' academic lives because they were encouraged to do so through their children's K-12 experience, which was influenced by the No Child Left Behind Act. Many traditional college students, who are between the ages of 18 and 22 and are financially dependent on their parents, are comfortable with the involved parenting style and welcome their parents' support. College faculty and staff express concern at the increased level of parental involvement. They consider a component of the post-secondary experience to be autonomy and independence from parents. They are also aware, however, of the importance of student success and the need to consider new ways to increase students' success and completion rates. This qualitative study explored the nature of parents' lived experience about how they are involved in the academic lives of their children, who are traditional community college students. Using a phenomenological design, 10 interviews were conducted of parents of traditional students attending a community college in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. From the data, which was analyzed using the heuristic phenomenological approach, three overlapping themes emerged. Parents consider the community college as an intermediate step, they are committed to their children's success, and they perceive their involvement as a balancing act between encouraging independence and providing support. The findings in this study demonstrated that the parents' goal of academic success for their students is consistent with the objective of college faculty and staff From this study community college administrators and student services personnel could gain an understanding of the role of parental involvement to determine how it may be utilized in their strategies for improving student success. Recommendations for related future research that would be valuable to parents and college staff would include studies conducted in multiple community colleges, as well as research following other designs or generating samples in a different manner to determine if similar conclusions may be drawn. Additionally, research using mixed or quantitative methods, possibly including longitudinal data, could explore the relationship between parental involvement at the community college level and student success.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Cleghorn, Dana
School: Northcentral University
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 73/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Community college education, Higher education
Keywords: Parental involvement, Student success
Publication Number: 3504769
ISBN: 978-1-267-26504-3
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