What is the efficacy of using an integrated model in measuring sense of community (SOC) in accelerated degree completion programs?

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Adult learners must overcome a myriad of challenges, more often than not associated with time constraints, in matriculating into college. To overcome time constraint issues, many colleges have implemented a growing alternative for adult students called accelerated degree completion programs. These programs offer flexible schedules with compressed class schedules. Yet, even with these programs, adult learner persistence is still problematic for colleges. Since it is positively associated with several positive student outcomes including persistence, sense of community (SOC) was identified as a possible gauge of positive adult learner outcomes. The purpose of this quantitative study was four-fold. First, through a review of the literature, there was an effort to determine the prevalent instruments for measuring SOC. Secondly, analysis was undertaken to compare and contrast the prevalent instruments. Third, analysis was undertaken to determine any differentiation in measurements of SOC for adult students in an accelerated degree completion program with respect to age and gender. Fourth, factor analysis was undertaken to develop an integrated model using the prevalent SOC measurement instruments. From the literature review, two prevalent instruments for measuring SOC were identified: Sense of Community Index and the Classroom Community Scale. Using regression analysis, student data collected from a Southeastern historically black college's accelerated degree completion program were analyzed to compare and contrast the two prevalent instruments. The Classroom Community Scale was found to be a better predictor of SOC although the Sense of Community Index did offer predictive capability beyond that of the Classroom Community Scale. Analysis revealed no differentiation in the measurement of SOC with respect to age and gender. Using small sample factor analysis, an integrated model was developed from the variables of the Sense of Community Index and the Classroom Community Scale. Although this model offered a much smaller number of variables than either the Sense of Community Index or the classroom community index, it had far less predictive power than the Classroom Community Scale alone. However, since the integrated model was found to be statistically significant, it seems feasible as an abbreviated instrument for measuring SOC.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940032274223
  • Publisher: ProQuest LLC
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eTextbook
  • Pages: 136

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