Student Involvement : A Descriptive Analysis of Adults Enrolled in Community College Vocational Technical Programs
Mayrose, Julie A.
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The purpose: The purpose of this study was to provide a descriptive analysis of the educational experiences of adults in community college vocational technical programs (AVTs) according to their levels of student involvement, assessment of progress toward goals, and level of satisfaction with the college environment. Procedures: The overall educational experiences of AVTs were compared to other community college student sub-populations. The Community College Student Experiences Questionnaire (CCSEQ) was used as the instrument to collect data. A total of 361 students completed the CCSEQ and constituted the comparison student groups: adult learners (ALs), and traditional age learners (TLs); and within those groups: adults in vocational technical programs (AVTs), traditional age students in vocational technical programs (TVTs), and adults in college transfer programs (ACTS). Findinqs: 1) AVT student activities. AVTs involvement consists of energy invested in course and writing do not invest much energy on interaction with other students or faculty. AVTs do not invest as much energy in vocational skills as younger vocational technical students. 2) AVT involvement follows what Astin (1984) describes as a continuum of different levels of involvement in different types of activities. 3) AVT involvement is both quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative involvement was identified by AVTs' reports of gains. AVT satisfaction reflects the qualitative aspect of involvement (Astin, 1984). 4) AVTs are more marginal, less involved students than other adult learners or traditional age learners. College personnel can address these areas of differences and produce services and policies that can lead to AVT increases in involvement, gains, and satisfaction. Conclusions: @ AVTs' educational involvement largely centers on course and writing activities. @ AVTs experience moderate gains while in college. @ AVTs are only moderately satisfied with their college environment. @ AVTs differ somewhat from other adult learners in community colleges. @ AVTs differ substantially from traditional age learners in community college vocational technical programs. Recommendations: 1) Seek methods to increase AVT levels of involvement with faculty members and student acquaintances. 2) To increase gain, tie AVT out of class learning opportunities to course completion. 3) To increase involvement, gain, and, satisfaction, design policies that offer credit for on-the-job internships and life experiences and recognition for academic achievement for part-time students. 4) To increase satisfaction, balance the desire to provide services with a respect to not intrude on the AVTs' complex lives and pragmatic natures.
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