Invisible Influence: New Forms of Cooling Out in Community Colleges
AuthorAnderson, Jill A.
Committee ChairDeil-Amen, Regina
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractExploring students' experiences navigating community college is important for understanding the relevance of community college procedures and personnel as students make decisions about their day-to-day actions and continued enrollment. Data exists about the multiple obligations many community college students have, which may complicate their college enrollment. Yet, little is known about how those outside obligations influence students as they interact within the community college environment to implement their college-going choices. Furthermore, little data exists about the continued educational choices students make during their enrollment and what role college procedures and personnel may play. Choices for students do not end after choosing a college to attend. Rather, decision-making is an on-going process. Ironically, the on-going educational choices of students are missing from college choice, integration, and persistence models. This study used a qualitative approach to examine how students experienced the institution through the lens of these micro-decisions. A combination of the model of student success, rational action theory, and cooling out provided the framework to understand how community college students made sense of their interactions with college personnel, and in what ways the community college might contribute to cooling out. Overall, findings demonstrate the community college's procedures constrain students' available choices. Rather than simplifying procedural requirements, community college personnel often contributed to students' confusion and difficulty in carrying out a micro-decision. Furthermore, findings suggest the community college continues to play a cooling out function in higher education.
Degree ProgramGraduate College