Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

A Needs Assessment of Student Support Programs for Adult Students at Tri-County Technical College

Dougherty, Mark (2019) A Needs Assessment of Student Support Programs for Adult Students at Tri-County Technical College. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Download (567kB) | Preview


Situated in a national landscape of looming decreasing enrollment trends for traditional-aged students, institutions of higher education would do well to consider how to support the persistence of non-traditional students. The definition of non-traditional students can include a wide spectrum of descriptors. This study narrowed that definition to consider adult students, who are 25 years of age or older. The decision to persist is different for adult students at commuter colleges than for traditional-aged students at residential four-year institutions (Braxton, Doyle, Hartley, Hirschy, Jones, & McLendon, 2014). Adult students have a different approach to decision making influenced by their life experiences and related cognitive scheme (Donaldson & Graham, 1999). Tri-County Technical College has identified the adult student population as an important population to focus on in the coming years as the number of available traditional-aged students decreases (Grawe, 2014). With this in mind, it is important to consider how Tri-County can best support its adult students to persist to their education goal.
This needs assessment study identified several existing gaps between needs of adult students at Tri-County and the student support programs and structures at Tri-County Technical College. Through a series of focused conversations, the experiences of adult students were examined to identify those factors that support and those factors that complicate their ability remain enrolled. Comparing these factors to the focus of non-academic student support programs and structures at Tri-County led to the identification of several existing gaps. These gaps comprised the identified needs. Ultimately, a series of six recommendations were provided as opportunities for how Tri-County can adjust its efforts support adult student persistence.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Dougherty, Markdougherty@pitt.edumdougher0000-0002-0372-8326
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairDeAngelo,
Committee MemberGunzenhauser,
Committee MemberSwords,
Date: 25 September 2019
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 26 July 2019
Approval Date: 25 September 2019
Submission Date: 3 September 2019
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 133
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Adult Student Community College Nontraditional Student Persistence Student Success Student Support Programs
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2019 14:38
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2019 14:38


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item