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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Community College Student Success Among Non-Completers: A Narrative Exploration of The Phenomenon of Positive Attrition Through The Voices of California Community College CTE Students

  • Author(s): Marriott, Douglas Chelton
  • Advisor(s): Eagon, Kevin
  • Wagoner, Richard
  • et al.

This qualitative research study investigated the motivations and perceptions of community college career and technical education students related to their reasons for leaving programs prior to CTE certificate or course completion utilizing narrative inquiry. Former students were asked about their background, education and employment goals, college and community environment influences in relation to their community college experience and their definition of student success. Data collection methods included identifying and interviewing ten former CTE students from two college campuses who had previously participated in a survey of CTE "completers" and "leavers" piloted at fourteen community colleges in California. Narrative data revealed that although students may not complete a CTE certificate or degree, they categorize their experiences as successful for advancing them on both career and academic pathways, indicating a need for expanded definitions of student success for community college CTE students.

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