LEARNING FRAMEWORKS, FIRST YEAR EXPERIENCE, EDUCATION 1300: A QUALITATIVE EXAMINATION OF EXPECTATIONS & PERCEPTIONS OF FIRST YEAR STUDENTS AND FACULTY
Pyle, David H., Jr.
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The course most offered by Community Colleges to enhance first-year student success focuses on facilitating students in academic transition from high school to higher education. The purpose of the first-year experience course is designed to increase tenacity, retention, completion, and personal advancement at the university level. Research is limited regarding the expectations and perceptions of college students as they matriculate into higher education. The purpose of this study was to identify and analyze the congruence of expectations of students and faculty in the Student Success Course (SSC) at the Community College level. The study most influenced experiences identified by first-year students such as their expectations; the perceptions for the first year SSC; the academic, social and career – related expectations students have during their first year of college that they believe will lead them to success in college; the preparation levels for the SSC and the extent student and faculty expectations are in alignment. The study used a qualitative approach that probed student and faculty perceptions as it related to the student success course. Five first-year students enrolled in Education 1300, and five Education 1300 faculty were identified and volunteered for the study at a large suburban community college. A semi-structured interview guide and cognitive interviews were employed to collect data, and these interviews were transcribed into themes. Five themes emerged, and two related to prior experiences that identified first generation familial disconnect to the college experience and taking the SSC. Three themes related to student perceptions of college success were hybrid course scheduling, faculty interactions, and academic advising. Implications for researchers and practitioners are discussed.