Date of Conferral

2015

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Education

Advisor

Myron Pope

Abstract

This qualitative study was designed to understand the experiences of General Educational Development (GED) graduates enrolling into a community college. Research had not been conducted to explore the experiences of GED graduates completing the 2014 version of the exam and transitioning to college. Guided by Schlossbergâ??s college transition theory and Banduraâ??s theory of self-efficacy, this phenomenological study included 11 participants who described their experiences through written narratives and interviews. Participants described their experiences of being an adult education student while preparing for the exam, the steps within the GED test preparation they considered important to matriculation toward college enrollment, and their points of view of the enrollment experience into a community college. Data analysis included analytic induction and participatory analyses for discovering patterns and clarification of statements made by the participants. Narratives, interviews, and field notes were transcribed, member checked, and reviewed for interaction, continuity, and situation prior to coding. The realization of motivation, determination, and self-efficacy, established around supporting relationships assembled during the transition to college, were common experiences among these participants. A deeper understanding of these factors for adults matriculating through GED and into college hopefully instills awareness and sparks discussion for improvements in educational support services.