Factors that Contribute to Minority Students Low Retention in Community Colleges: A Qualitative Case Study

Factors that Contribute to Minority Students Low Retention in Community Colleges: A Qualitative Case Study

Author: 
Carlene Buchanan
Program of study: 
Ph.D./HEA
Abstract: 
The purpose of this qualitative exploratory single case study was to understand factors contributing to the low retention rates of minority students in community colleges in Connecticut. The author used exploratory case study to explore why minority student’s retention rates were low in CT community colleges. Twelve African American and Hispanic minorities shared their community college experience by responding to faceto-face semi-structured interviews. Documents and archival records were the other methods used to collect data. Data were coded using content analysis, selective coding, and NVivo 11 Pro software. Triangulation of the findings using multiple sources led to thematic analysis. The findings indicated that more retention strategies and policy reform are necessary to retain minority students in community colleges. Based on the findings, community college administrators and policy makers are encouraged to engage in more collaborative effort to address the problem of retaining minority students in community colleges.
Dedication: 
Thanks be to God who has given me the victory through Christ Jesus! Let the dedication begin with God first because I could not have completed this journey without Him. Every praise belongs to him. He sustained me throughout this journey when I felt like giving up. I dedicate this dissertation to my parents Pastor Claudius Morrison and Missionary Francella Morrison. Both of you departed this life to take on new assignments, but I am very honored that you can still share with me in spirit. Words are inadequate to describe the wonderful parents you were. Your nine daughters continue to build on the values you instilled in us, and we pass them on to our children without fail. You have taught us many life lessons, which to this day, are indelibly written on our minds. Enjoy your sweet repose; you are just a thought away. I dedicate this dissertation to my Grandfather the late Bishop Norman Neville Henry Hawthorne, who taught me the fundamentals of writing from an early age. You were my mentor and confidant. Of all the advice you gave to me as a young adult, the following statement I will never forget “Carlene, my dear child, you should always have something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.” I will always remember the calmness with which you said those words and the impact it has had on me to this day. I will always love and cherish you Gramps. I dedicate this dissertation to my husband Michael Buchanan, my son Mikael Buchanan, and my daughter Zamia Buchanan. You are simply the best for taking care of me and supporting me on this journey. You were there for me for every milestone and I love you with all my heart. I dedicate this dissertation to my eight sisters: Dr. Enid Rose Robinson, Lucille Townsend, Felecita Thomas, Delores Campbell, Frances Ferguson, Claudette Francis, Georgia Smellie, and Dionne Dennis. I love you and I am eternally grateful to all of you for your support. Last but not least, I dedicate this dissertation to all my nieces, nephews, and other relatives, who supported me on this journey. I applaud your effort in assisting me to the finish line.
Acknowledgements: 
I am delighted to acknowledge and thank my pastor and his team for their prayers and support and also my co-workers and executive director for their support. It is a pleasure to acknowledge and thank all my friends (too numerous to mention) who spent countless hours encouraging me and simply being there for me. I acknowledge and thank all my participants in this study. Thanks for taking the time to share your experience with me. Had it not been for you, I would not be able to complete this study. Thanks to everyone including my colleagues and professors who provided academic support and insight through all stages of the dissertation process. Last but not least, I would like to thank my former chair Dr. Brian Cole, my current chair Dr. Gary Berg, and my committee members: Dr. Sheila Vinson, and Dr. Valerie Sherwood, for their guidance and commitment throughout my journey. Together we did it, and I am very grateful.