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What Happens When They Leave? An Examination of Rural Appalachian, First-Generation Non- Persisters OHAAA Presentation June 20, 2014 Ginny Cottrill, Ed.

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Presentation on theme: "What Happens When They Leave? An Examination of Rural Appalachian, First-Generation Non- Persisters OHAAA Presentation June 20, 2014 Ginny Cottrill, Ed."— Presentation transcript:

1 What Happens When They Leave? An Examination of Rural Appalachian, First-Generation Non- Persisters OHAAA Presentation June 20, 2014 Ginny Cottrill, Ed. D.

2 The Study Qualitative Rural Appalachian, First-generation Dropped out during/after first year of college attendance Method - Key Informants & Snowballing Eight (8) participants completed a series of three interviews about their experiences –Four men and four women

3 The Participants All of you should have a sheet indicating a particular participant:  Carol  Drew  Jack  Joey  Kevin  Patty  Sandy  Shelley

4 The Challenge For You The Bank  Candies  Cups The Mission Determine if each quality, characteristic or experience contributes (add candy(ies) to college success or deters (withdraw candy(ies) or has no impact on participant’s persistence in earning bachelor’s degree as the bank will assist in determining future  Example: Participant gets good grades in high school. Add one or more candies to your bank (cup) based on how relevant that seems to you in light of future higher education success (achieves 4 year degree). Does more candy = better chance at earning 4 year degree in light of other characterisics?  Break into groups/partners. The Evaluation  See how your participant’s bank ends up at the end of your evaluation of participant (at drop-out). How positive/negative was their experience?  Develop an ending for the story of your participant (what happened next?)

5 The Results Carol Completed her family (3 children) and returned to college 17 years later to finish her bachelor’s and master’s degree. She is currently in a doctoral program. Drew Lived with parents for next 2 years, played on computers and video games then tried a couple of community college courses, but withdrew. He eventually obtained full-time employment, got married and had two children. He has no plans to return to higher education. Kevin Lived with roommates and worked in retail. When younger brother (with visual disability) graduated high school, they moved south so brother could attend college. Kevin is working full-time and hopes to return to college when he decides what he wants to pursue.

6 The Results (continued) Jack He returned to the same community college, retook all of his previously failed courses, and graduated with his associate’s degree in science. He completed his chiropractic degree and is married with two children living and practicing in his hometown. Joey One day he ran into a man who was conducting a study on the farm where he was working. He talked with the man and discovered options for a career based on his interest in being outdoors. He moved to a residential college to complete a bachelor’s degree. He is married with a child, living away from local area which is not what he wanted as he hoed to stay local. Patty Had another child after completing her LPN certificate and is a single mother of 2 boys. She now works full time as an RN and is completing her bachelor’s degree through an online program. She intends to complete a master’s in nursing.

7 The Results (continued) Sandy Continues to live with her husband and father-in-law and cares for her physically disabled parents and sister. She works full-time in retail and hopes to return to higher education one day after she saves enough money. Shelley She and her parents agreed upon a school closer to home that they could afford, so she could continue her studies. She obtained a part-time job. She completed her bachelor’s degree this past May.

8 What Was Learned? 1)The “pull” of family was strong, especially for the women who chose to withdraw. Family responsibilities rank high on Appalachian’s list of priorities. All, but two participants (males), still live in hometown area. 2)Working toward a goal was important, especially for the males. Without a goal, the males could not justify why they were in college taking courses they didn’t enjoy and could not see a path to a career. Most of them chose employment over academics. 3)Financial considerations were a priority and debt was avoided. Many of the participants grew up in low economic or impoverished conditions. Managing money and debt was a high priority for these Appalachian participants. 4)Social concerns were a contributor for most of the participants. All of them experienced a sense of “other” or social concerns while in higher education. 5)Academics were not a predictor for student success for these participants. All but two of the participants participated in gifted programs in K-12 (three were valedictorians) yet they dropped out.

9 Summary Five of the 8 participants returned to college and completed or are nearing completion of the bachelor’s degree. Two of the participants hope to be able to return to higher education in future. One of the participants has no desire to return to higher education, but felt it was a good experience.

10 Future Considerations For institutional retention purposes, these participants are considered drop-outs, but are they? Does your institution have an initiative regarding getting former students to return with the focus on graduates with the completion agenda? How do the characteristics of these participants (drop-outs) affect our advising strategies for some of our current advisees who may be experiencing some of these scenarios? Appreciative, Intrusive? What types of advising techniques do we utilize for adult students, who may be stop-outs?

11 Contact Information Ginny Cottrill, Ed. D. Ohio University


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