Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Margaret A. Healy
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship among external time obligations of work and care giving by part-time students, their participation within structured group learning experiences, and student engagement. The Structured Group Learning Experiences (SGLEs) explored within this study include community college programming activities of orientation, accelerated developmental education, first-year experience courses, student success courses, and learning communities. Student engagement was measured by the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) Benchmark values. The focus of this research was to explore how differing levels of time spent working for pay and in providing care for dependents impacted participation within structured group learning experiences and student engagement.
The data set used for this study was a random subset of the 2014 CCSSE Cohort with survey results from the CCSSE instrument and the CCSSE Special-Focus Items survey.
The study found significant relationships between SGLE participation and student engagement with a cumulative effect related to multiple SGLE participation and higher student engagement. The relationship between time spent working for pay and in providing care for dependents was found to have differing impacts on student engagement. The study found time spent working for pay was connected to lower student engagement scores while time spent providing care for dependents had mixed results with some connection to higher engagement scores. This trend was also found in the participation within SGLEs of part-time students. Time spent working for pay was connected to lower participation within SGLEs for part-time students whereas time spent providing care for dependents had limited connections to higher participation within orientation, accelerated developmental education, and student success courses.
The key finding of this study showed that time spent providing care for dependents was associated with higher levels of student engagement and limited increases in SGLE participation as opposed to time spent working for pay. Community college professionals can learn from this result, and perhaps, pursue ways to support their students who are navigating these external time obligations.
Keywords: Student Engagement, Structured Group Learning Experiences, Community College Survey of Student Engagement, Work for Pay, Caregiving
Leingang, Daniel, "Working And Providing Care: Increasing Student Engagement For Part-Time Community College Students" (2017). Theses and Dissertations. 2265.