Journal of Applied Research in Community Colleges

Journal of Applied Research in Community Colleges. Peer-Reviewed Since 1993

FALL 2022 - VOLUME 29, ISSUE 2

Flat Tires, YouTube, and “No One”: Community College Students Describe Financial Emergencies and Sources of Support

Z.W. Taylor, University of Southern Mississippi

Karen Serna, Austin Community College

Linda Eguiluz, Austin Community College

McKayla Marois, The University of Texas at Austin

Decades of research have demonstrated that community college students arrive on campus from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, work longer hours, and experience higher cohort default rates on student loans compared to peers attending four-year institutions. Yet, most prior work on community college student financial emergencies has been quantitative and has not investigated who or where community college students turn to during a financial emergency. As a result, this study analyzes qualitative data from 14 community college students who detailed their financial emergencies and explained who or where they turn to for support. Results suggest community college students experience transportation-related financial emergencies most frequently, and often view non-financial units as sources of on-campus support (advisors, police, etc.). In addition, many students do not view their institution as a source of financial support and instead rely on self-education for assistance during an emergency. Implications for community college research, policy, and practice are addressed.

Keywords: community college students; community colleges; financial emergencies; financial wellness; financial education

Taylor, W. Z., Serna, K., Eguiluz, L., & Marois, M. (2022) Flat Tires, YouTube, and “No One”: Community College Students Describe Financial Emergencies and Sources of Support. Journal of Applied Research in the Community College, 29(2), 1-14.

An Exploration of Community College Students’ Lived Experiences with Face-To-Face and Virtual Academic Counseling: Associating Environmental Experiences to Desired Educational Outcomes

Fili Michel, Chaffey College

Lu Liu, University of La Verne

Despite the importance and universality of academic counseling, minimal research has been conducted on academic counseling in higher education, primarily when focusing on the virtual counseling modality. In this phenomenological study, we sought to understand the lived experiences of community college students as they engaged in face-to-face counseling sessions before the COVID-19 pandemic and virtual sessions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings suggest that students’ experiences are centered around these primary themes: (a) counselor availability; (b) rapport builder; (c) validation; (d) staying positive; and (e) feeling capable. In addition, findings demonstrated that community college students experienced favorable counseling sessions and had a smooth and positive transition into a virtual modality. Additionally, this study reported a positive and approving perception of face-to-face and virtual counseling sessions. Finally, this study revealed that participants' experiences with academic counseling, regardless of the modality, maximize their potential for achieving their desired educational outcomes.

Keywords: community college; virtual and face-to-face counseling; COVID-19

Michel, F., & Liu, L. (2022) An Exploration of Community College Students’ Lived Experiences with Face-To-Face and Virtual Academic Counseling: Associating Environmental Experiences to Desired Educational Outcomes. Journal of Applied Research in the Community College, 29(2), 15-27.

Do Turbulent Times Affect Community College Students’ Civic Outcomes? Results from the Higher Education Civic Outcomes Survey

Carrie B. Kisker, Center for the Study of Community Colleges

Dayna S. Weintraub, Rutgers University

Mallory Newell, De Anza College

Believing that an understanding of the civic outcomes of college may be necessary for institutions to justify continued investment in civic programs and activities, in 2014 the Higher Education Civic Outcomes Survey (HECOS) was developed. Utilizing HECOS data from 2015 - 2018, we examined trends in community college students’ political behaviors (e.g., discussing politics; participating in local, state, or national campaigns; persuading others to vote for a particular issue, candidate, or party; registering to vote; voting; etc.) and examined trends and variations in the individual and institutional factors associated with greater civic agency, capacity, and behavior longitudinally. Results illustrate how community colleges can work to increase students’ civic outcomes, and show how these efforts might take on added significance in years with major elections, such as presidential primaries and general elections.

Keywords: civic engagement; community college; civic capacity; civic agency; civic behavior

Kisker, B. C., Weintraub, S. D., & Newell, M. (2022) Do Turbulent Times Affect Community College Students’ Civic Outcomes? Results from the Higher Education Civic Outcomes Survey. Journal of Applied Research in the Community College, 29(2), 29-45.

Listen, Here’s What We Need: Supporting First-Generation Latina Nontraditional Student-Mothers in Community Colleges

Myra Gardea-Hernández, Teachers College of San Joaquin

The purpose of this research was to explore the educational experiences of first-generation Latina nontraditional student-mothers enrolled at a California community college and identify the ways in which ganas and mindsets influenced their success. This manuscript discusses the perceptions held by these particular student-mothers regarding their educational experiences. While the study’s data illuminated student successes, this manuscript places its focus on the needs of these specific students. Participants identified a need for college pre-knowledge, support groups, and daycare opportunities. These findings provide community colleges with insights to better support their student-mother populations and are a stepping stone towards equitable opportunities for the educational success of this particular student population.

Keywords: community colleges; first-generation; Latina; student-mothers; student supports

Gardea-Hern├índez, M. (2022) Listen, Here’s What We Need: Supporting First-Generation Latina Nontraditional Student-Mothers in Community Colleges. Journal of Applied Research in the Community College, 29(2), 47-59.

Faculty Professional Development Pertaining to Student with Disabilities in the Southern California Community College Setting

Amra Pepic-Koubati, California State University, Long Beach

Edwin Achola, California State University, Long Beach

This qualitative study used semi-structured interviews to explore the influence of the background and professional contexts of community college faculty on their experiences and perceptions regarding professional development pertaining to students with disabilities (SWDs). The results indicated that participants’ perceptions of these opportunities were positive and were influenced by their commitment to SWDs, their personal and professional connection to disability, and their recognition of a diverse student body. The results also highlighted a need for ongoing, multifaceted training in community college contexts, addressing the salience of future training initiatives, familiarity with different disabilities and appropriate supports, and faculty learning communities.

Keywords: faculty professional development; students with disabilities (SWDs); California Community College system; Flex Day; multifaceted training workshops

Pepic-Koubati, A., & Achola, E. (2022) Faculty Professional Development Pertaining to Student with Disabilities in the Southern California Community College Setting. Journal of Applied Research in the Community College, 29(2), 61-74.

The ADVANCE Transfer Partnership and Its Influence on Community College Transfer Student Capital

Casey Lukszo, Northern Virginia Community College

Jason Dodge, ADVANCE

Rita Snyder Furr, ADVANCE

This descriptive case study explores the following research question: How does the ADVANCE transfer partnership between Northern Virginia Community College and George Mason University influence students’ transfer capital through the transfer pipeline? Using the transfer student capital framework as a conceptual lens, we found that ADVANCE coaches, connections to faculty, access to transfer pathways, and engagement opportunities provided students with transfer student capital that gives students confidence and self-efficacy in their transfer experience. Recommendations for practice and policy are included.

Keywords: community colleges; transfer; transfer partnerships; transfer capital; student success

Lukszo, C., Dodge, J., & Furr, S. R. (2022) The ADVANCE Transfer Partnership and Its Influence on Community College Transfer Student Capital. Journal of Applied Research in the Community College, 29(2), 75-88.

Community College Course Success Rates by Semester Block: An Institutional Research Team’s Findings and Recommendations

Jonathan W. Carrier, University of Wyoming

Mark A. Perkins, University of Wyoming

Bryan A. Wilson, Laramie County Community College

Sarah Smith, Laramie County Community College

Stacy Maestas, Laramie County Community College

Joseph M. Schaffer, Laramie County Community College

Many community colleges offer multiple and staggered course start dates within an overall 16-week semester to better accommodate student scheduling needs and manage enrollment. To assess the impact on student success, course pass rates for multiple semester blocks were investigated by an interdisciplinary institutional research team at a community college. The data demonstrated that across all students at the college, course modalities, and student enrollment types, students in 16 and 8-week semester courses significantly outperformed, as measured by course success, students in 14 and 12-week semester courses. Full-time students and students in face-to-face courses performed significantly better in 14-week courses than in 12-week courses. Part-time students and students in online courses performed equally well in 14 and 12-week courses. Students in 12-week hybrid courses significantly outperformed students in 14-week hybrid courses. Implications for community college administrators are discussed in this study.

Keywords: community college; course success rates; part-time students; online courses; hybrid courses; semester length

Carrier, W. J., Perkins, A. M., Wilson, A. B., & Smith, S. (2022) Community College Course Success Rates by Semester Block: An Institutional Research Team’s Findings and Recommendations. Journal of Applied Research in the Community College, 29(2), 89-104.

A Mindfulness and Self-Talk Intervention with Community College Volleyball Players

Natalya Marshak, California State University, Fresno

Jenelle N. Gilbert, California State University, Fresno

Jenny O, California State University, East Bay

With only two years of eligibility, community college (CC) athletes seek a competitive edge. Mindfulness and self-talk can improve focus and sport performance. Therefore, this case study investigated changes in serving accuracy, mindfulness, and self-talk following a 6-week mindfulness and self-talk intervention (MSTI) with four female CC volleyball athletes. Changes in serving accuracy were not salient; however, three athletes demonstrated positive trends. One athlete increased her mindfulness scores as measured by the Cognitive and Affective Mindfulness Scale—Revised. Two athletes increased instructional self-talk use and all athletes decreased negative self-talk. Interview findings showed that the athletes perceived positive changes in serving performance, were more in control of their emotions, and experienced enhanced focus. Given the importance of mindfulness and self-talk to athletic performance and everyday life, practitioners are encouraged to collaborate with CC teams on MSTI interventions.

Keywords: mindfulness; self-talk; community college; student-athlete; female volleyball

Marshak, N., Gilbert, N. J., & O, J. (2022) A Mindfulness and Self-Talk Intervention with Community College Volleyball Players. Journal of Applied Research in the Community College, 29(2), 105-122.

Leveraging Prosocial Rule Breaking among Community College Adjunct Faculty

Amanda O. Latz, Ball State University

Prosocial rule breaking (PSRB) among community college adjunct faculty can be a source of positive institutional change. Common within the management literature, PSRB is an understudied phenomenon within higher education. Using empirical evidence from a recent photovoice project, extant literature, and PSRB as a theoretical frame, the ways some adjunct faculty break and bend institutional rules in the spirit of helping students is examined. Ways PSRB can be leveraged for positive institutional change are delineated for community college leaders.

Keywords: community college; adjunct faculty; prosocial rule breaking; institutional change

Latz, O. A. (2022) Leveraging Prosocial Rule Breaking among Community College Adjunct Faculty. Journal of Applied Research in the Community College, 29(2), 125-134.

Well-Being is a Student’s Best Friend: Strategies to Capitalize on Community College Continuation

Ariella S. Panek, Rowan University

Ane Turner Johnson, Rowan University

Community colleges continuously struggle with attrition. Despite efforts to foster student success through various initiatives, most institutions do not prioritize student well-being as a strategy to increase retention or understand how well-being is associated with college continuation. We conducted an explanatory mixed methods study at a mid-sized community college in the Mid-Atlantic to examine the relationship between well-being and college continuation, particularly among academically at-risk students. We found that community college students have low levels of well-being and that there is a relationship between well-being and college continuation among academically at-risk students. The purpose of this practice brief is to provide recommendations for community college educators to help them initiate a holistic concept of well-being within their campus environment and foster a climate of collaboration among the campus community. By delivering comprehensive support to community college students, student well-being will increase, and more students will achieve their educational goals.

Keywords: community college; well-being; college continuation; collaboration; holistic

Panek, S. A., & Johnson, T. A. (2022) Well-Being is a Student’s Best Friend: Strategies to Capitalize on Community College Continuation. Journal of Applied Research in the Community College, 29(2), 135-149.