Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)

Program

Educational Leadership

Date of Award

12-2008

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Jasmine R. Renner

Committee Members

Terrence A. Tollefson, Kathryn K. Franklin, Catherine H. Glascock, Carla E. Warner

Abstract

This study examined nontraditional student engagement into the collegiate environment on the University of Memphis (U of M) campus, specifically services and programs in the University College. The sample surveyed included 4 nontraditional undergraduate students, 1 from each grade level, aged 25 years or older. The 4 nontraditional undergraduate study participants were admitted and enrolled at the U of M. Additionally, there was 1 alumnae member included in the study.

The study employed the use of multiple forms of data collection including interviews, personal and focus group, journaling, life stories, and an online campus climate survey. In order to analyze the multiple forms of data received, data analyses were broken down into 3 chapters. Each chapter revealed findings that provided answers to the initial research question. Each chapter was then further divided into themes or categories that emerged from questions and interviews.

Results of the research revealed that nontraditional students did not feel active engagement with the collegiate environment was a major component contributing to the success of their academic career. Research data indicated that nontraditional students because of their maturity level are at times disappointed with their traditional counterparts and faculty in classroom activities. Further, data analyzed support nontraditional student need for more communication from campus staff as well as development of separate tutoring services and offices for nontraditional students. Additionally, findings indicated that the institution should hire faculty and staff who understand nontraditional students' learning styles and needs.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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