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Cerrone, Emily R. (2017) SOCIALIZATION OF UNDERGRADUATE RURAL STUDENTS IN A LARGE, URBAN UNIVERSITY. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Using the theoretical framework of Weidman’s Model of Undergraduate Student Socialization (1989), this study investigates the socialization experiences of rural students at a large, urban university. Ten first-year, first-semester students were interviewed at the beginning and the end of the fall 2016 semester to describe their socialization process. Based on the findings, the definition of rural students at the university was challenged. The findings also consider the influence of technology and the importance of physical location. Technology taps into the students’ backgrounds; influences parental and non-college references groups; and motivates the normative pressures found both academically and socially at the university. It acts as a driving catalyst to make the collegiate experience positive through the support of friends and encourages interactions with faculty and the urban environment. The frequency rural students return home can affect their interpretation of the collegiate experience and socialization into the institution. The concept of returning home challenges Weidman’s Socialization Model to consider a balance between the hometown and collegiate experiences during a rural student’s first semester in college. With these implications in mind, recommendations for research and practice are offered for institutions. It is hoped the implications of this study are used to allow rural students to achieve desired academic outcomes, a sense of belonging, and retention rates.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Cerrone, Emily
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairGarcia, Gina
Committee MemberWeidman, John
Committee MemberWaite,
Date: 26 July 2017
Defense Date: 19 April 2017
Approval Date: 2 August 2017
Submission Date: 26 July 2017
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 108
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: No
Uncontrolled Keywords: Weidman’s Model of Undergraduate Student Socialization; first-year; freshman; college; large, urban university; rural students
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2017 21:55
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2017 22:29


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