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Duncan, Robin AStudents' Perceived Value of the Community College Experience: A Mixed Methods Study
Ph.D., Antioch University, 2018, Leadership and Change
The purpose of this study was to explore students’ perceived value of their community college experience and its relationship to other factors often related to student persistence in college, namely satisfaction, academic quality, service quality, and engagement. The research was guided by three focused questions: How do students describe and define perceived value of community college; what components emerge from exploratory factor analysis of items designed to measure perceived value; and how, if at all, is a student’s perception of the value of a community college experience different from related measures such as satisfaction, engagement, or quality? Data were collected from students enrolled at, primarily, three Massachusetts community colleges, employing a three-phased, mixed methods exploratory sequential approach. Phase 1 consisted of focus group interviews with students from one of the participating colleges to identify the themes and language for developing the perceived value construct. Phase 2 consisted of an online survey targeting currently enrolled community college students. Factor analysis identified key components of the perceived value scale and multiple regression analysis determined the relationship between perceived value and other control variables. Phase 3 consisted of a virtual post survey focus group with voluntary survey participants from Massachusetts community colleges to discuss and clarify the quantitative results and narrative survey responses. The dominant theme emerging from the findings was that students described perceived value as “I am valued” by the college. Results also indicated that the perceived value construct was different from other measures and suggested promising ways for further exploring and measuring student persistence. As a result of the study’s findings, a conceptual framework in the form of a Perceived Value Wheel was proposed with recommendations to community college leaders and practical contribution to higher education leadership and change. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive, and Ohiolink ETD Center,


Jon Wergin, Ph.D. (Committee Chair); Carol Baron, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Ruth Slotnick, Ph.D. (Committee Member)


Adult Education; Behavioral Psychology; Behavioral Sciences; Behaviorial Sciences; Business Administration; Business Education; Community College Education; Community Colleges; Continuing Education; Education; Education Philosophy; Education Policy; Educational Evaluation; Educational Leadership; Educational Psychology; Educational Sociology; Educational Tests and Measurements; Educational Theory; Higher Education; Higher Education Administration; Management; Marketing; Organization Theory; Organizational Behavior


Perceived Value; Service Quality; Academic Quality; Satisfaction; Student Engagement; Involvement; Student Experience; Higher Education; Two Year Colleges; Community College; Students; Mixed Methods; Regression; Factor Analysis; Persistence; Retention