Date of Award

Winter 2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educ Foundations & Leadership

Committee Director

Shana Pribesh

Committee Member

Mitchell R. Williams

Committee Member

Alan Schwitzer

Abstract

The study investigated whether community college engineering student success was tied to a learning community. Three separate data collection sources were utilized: surveys, interviews, and existing student records. Mann-Whitney tests were used to assess survey data, independent t-tests were used to examine pre-test data, and independent t-tests, analyses of covariance (ANCOVA), chi-square tests, and logistic regression were used to examine post-test data. The study found students that participated in the Engineering TLC program experienced a significant improvement in grade point values for one of the three post-test courses studied. In addition, the analysis revealed the odds of fall-to-spring retention were 5.02 times higher for students that participated in the Engineering TLC program, and the odds of graduating or transferring were 4.9 times higher for students that participated in the Engineering TLC program. However, when confounding variables were considered in the study (engineering major, age, Pell Grant participation, gender, ethnicity, and full-time/part-time status), the analyses revealed no significant relationship between participation in the Engineering TLC program and course success, fall-to-spring retention, and graduation/transfer. Thus, the confounding variables provided alternative explanations for results. The Engineering TLC program was also found to be effective in providing mentoring opportunities, engagement and motivation opportunities, improved self confidence, and a sense of community. It is believed the Engineering TLC program can serve as a model for other community college engineering programs, by striving to build a supportive environment, and provide guidance and encouragement throughout an engineering student's program of study.

Comments

A Dissertation Submitted to the Faculty of Old Dominion University in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY, COMMUNITY COLLEGE LEADERSHIP

ISBN

9781369436822

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