Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Soko Starobin


Community colleges serve as the postsecondary college of choice for many adult students. Community colleges are aware of their increased role in postsecondary education and understand that they must continue to analyze student populations and adapt to their needs as well as maintain their open access philosophy.

This study was conducted at the 15 community college districts in the state with the intention to develop a deeper understanding of the influence of student engagement on adult community college students' transfer intentions and STEM aspirations. The study utilized the new STEM Student Success Literacy survey instrument. The purpose of this study included: (a) to understand the demographics characteristics and engagement practices of adult students attending community colleges, (b) to understand the influence of engagement on students' intentions to transfer to a 4-year institution and on students' STEM degree aspirations, and (c) to add to the current body of literature on engagement.

This research sought to understand how engagement factors impact adult learners at community colleges. The experiences, skills, and attitudes of adult students are different than that of the traditional-age student. Without effective practices to serve adult students, colleges will not adequately meet the needs of these students. Faculty and administrators need to take responsibility for this important student population.


Copyright Owner

Ryan Anderson



File Format


File Size

214 pages