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Publication

Perceptions and preferences of students from small rural high schools in pursuing bachelor's degrees

Hrencher, Margaret
Abstract
Scope and Method of Study: The purpose of this descriptive case study was to describe the perceptions and preferences of students from small rural high schools in pursuing bachelor's degrees in a university setting. The lack of congruency between the students' preferred university environment and their perception of their university environment was posited as a reason for students not persisting and earning bachelor's degrees. Eight participants were part of the study. The participants graduated from high schools of less than 400 students which were located within 60 miles of the university they attended. Each participant responded to two assessments: the Social Game Assessment Tool and the Grid and Group Assessment Tool, and each participant participated in an interview. Data was triangulated through the assessments, interviews, field notes, university brochures, catalogs, and websites.
Findings and Conclusions: The participants' preferences for a university environment and their perceptions of their university environment were not congruent for four of the six students who earned bachelor's degrees, the criterion for success for this study. The study specifically showed a lack of congruency in the student's preferences and perception of student/instructor relationships and faculty support during their freshman year. Since six of the eight participants earned bachelor's degrees, the importance of congruency of perceptions and preferences for student success is not supported in this study.
Date
2011-05