Date of Award


Degree Type



Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs

First Advisor

Hill, Edward W.

Subject Headings

Community college students -- United States, Transfer students -- United States, College dropouts -- United States, Student persistence community college


This dissertation seeks to increase our understanding of the factors that lead to student success at community colleges. Using data on a cohort of students enrolled at a two-year college, this dissertation presents the results of a longitudinal analysis. Citing the results of several persistence studies as well as the literature on sub-baccalaureate job markets, this dissertation constructs a hybrid model of student persistence. This model combines Tinto's theory of student dropout behavior with human capital theory to derive a benefit/cost model of student enrollment behavior. Several hypotheses are developed regarding the relationship between various benefits and costs and students' likelihood of achieving each of three different outcomes: dropping out, transferring to a four-year institution, or completing an associate's degree. An event history analysis was conducted to find out whether these relationships actually existed. Results of this analysis are used to derive implications for theory and practice