Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Danette L. Brown


Student retention has been a serious issue for many community colleges globally for several decades. In a community college in Jamaica, persistence rates have been steadily declining within the last several years. The purpose of this study was to investigate students’ experiences with the pre-college program that was designed to prepare students to enter and successfully complete college undergraduate programs. Astin’s conceptual framework on involvement was used for this qualitative project study. Key questions for this study included what in-class experiences and what student support services students participating in the pre-college program perceived to be most useful to their college preparation. Seven students enrolled in the pre-college program completed the open-ended section of the survey, which was transcribed, and a secondary analysis of de-identified students survey responses conducted. The data were coded and analyzed using the NVivo. The findings revealed three major themes: 1) student intention, 2) social integration, and 3) institution policies (support). The results and recommendations were used to create a 3-day professional development for the educators and staff of the site. The project included the forming of an online professional learning community centered around bridging the gap between pre-college and college readiness for transitioning into the baccalaureate college level using structured advisement. Once implemented, this project will positively impact pre-college students and their success in transitioning to a college academic program. It should also significantly influence the involvement of faculty and staff in activities that favor social integration and institutional policies and promote positive social change so that student retention may be improved.