Ed.D. Dissertations

Date of Award

10-2017

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

College

College of Education

Department

Education

Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.

Faculty Chair

Barbara Weschke, Ph.D

Content Specialist

Dennette Foy, Ed.D

Content Reader

Cristie McClendon, Ph.D

Keywords

non traditional student, interpersonal relationships, motivation, campus community, sense of belonging, persistence, attendance, retention, self - esteem, self - actualization

Abstract

This purpose of this phenomenological study was to investigate if the interpersonal relationships among nontraditional college students with each other, faculty, and staff play a role in fostering a sense of campus community at a private career and technical education junior college. Furthermore, the connection between a sense of campus community and students feeling a sense of belonging, increase their self-esteem, and achieving self-actualization as Maslow defined it was explored. In addition, the students reporting feeling a sense of community at a private career and technical education junior college and its relationship to motivating students to attend classes and complete their programs was examined. The participants of the study were nontraditional college students. The primary method of data collection was semi-structured interviews. Interpretive phenomenological analysis was used to analyze the data. The data revealed four themes 1) emotional safety; 2) inclusion and acceptance; 3) someone who cares; and 4) personal growth. Each of the themes related to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (1943), the framework on which this study is based. The findings of this study indicated interpersonal relationships do play a role in fostering a sense of campus community. In addition, a sense of campus community did increase students feeling a sense of belonging, increase their self-esteem, and encouraged them to work towards achieving self-actualization. Lastly, students reported feeling a sense of community did motivate them to attend classes and complete their programs.

Included in

Education Commons

Share

COinS