Abstract

Background: Students from lower socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds have historically experienced high rates of college dropout. Surveys often are used to assess supports and barriers (SB) to college enrollment and completion, and findings drive the design of interventions to improve student recruitment and retention. However, standard surveys may not include questions that solicit the breadth of issues facing low-income minority individuals.

Objectives: We used community-based participatory research (CBPR) principles to develop an SB survey to better reflect the concerns of rural, first-generation college students in Hawai‘i.

Methods: An advisory panel (AP) of students and community partners guided the work. The literature informed the first draft of the SB survey. Then we worked with students who had successfully completed a vocational Nurse Aide (NA) Training Program (NATP) course to refine four versions of the SB survey through multiple cycles of online survey review and focus groups.

Results: The final product included questions in new areas and differently phrased questions in standard areas (e.g., transportation, dependent care, housing, financial aid) to better capture reasons for students dropping out. The survey has proven useful as a student assessment tool, and findings are being used by instructors, counselors, and community partners to add resources and modify programs to increase student success in community college.

Conclusions: Findings confirm the usefulness of engaging target partners in tool development. An enhanced understanding of SB of students from underrepresented groups will help to improve college recruitment and retention interventions.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1557-055X
Print ISSN
1557-0541
Pages
pp. 169-176
Launched on MUSE
2011-05-27
Open Access
No
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