College Bound High School Seniors' Perceptions of the Community College

by Lawter, Vernon Linwood

Abstract (Summary)
LAWTER, VERNON L. College Bound High School Seniors? Perceptions of the Community College. (Under the direction of Dr. Duane Akroyd and Dr. Susan Bracken). A summary of the literature on public perceptions of the community college reveals that perceptions vary widely. The literature also reveals that many factors (including media, institutional history, and institutional mission) are potential influences on the perception of the community college. It appears that most of the data collected in the past concerning the image of the community college is quantitative or categorical, and that very few qualitative studies have been conducted. The purpose of this qualitative intrinsic case study is to examine, from a constructivist perspective, perceptions of the community college, and the roots of those perceptions, held by a select group of 27 college bound North Carolina high school seniors. Both semi-structured participant interviews and written questionnaires were utilized in the study. The following research questions guide the focus of this study: 1. How do college bound high school seniors perceive the community college? 2. How do interpersonal relationships influence college bound high school seniors? perceptions of the community college? 3. What additional factors influence college bound high school seniors' perceptions of the community college? Significant findings include the tendency of community college students to be viewed as underachievers and the pervasive perception of the community college as a ?last chance? institution. Findings also suggest that, from student perspectives, counseling at the high school level may have some inconsistencies along racial lines when related to community college enrollment. Finally, the study suggests that college location, social opportunities, and athletic opportunities and events play significant roles in how participants perceive colleges.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Dr. Duane Akroyd; Dr. Susan Bracken

School:North Carolina State University

School Location:USA - North Carolina

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:adult and community college education


Date of Publication:11/10/2005

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