Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Davis, James

Committee Member

King, Stephanie

Committee Member

Watson, Joshua

Committee Member

Wiseman, W. Martin

Committee Member

Stonecypher, Wayne

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Community College Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Education


Department of Educational Leadership


The purpose of the study was to examine relationships which existed between selected demographics and college grade point averages “GPAs” for dislocated workers and non dislocated workers enrolled in career-technical courses at a rural community college. The variables included in the study are age, gender, and marital status. The study also reports identified educational goals of dislocated workers as well as the perceived enhancements and barriers to achieving the goals. This study was conducted to assist workforce investment network “WIN” personnel and college counselors in the advisement of dislocated workers interested in the pursuit of career-technical training. A survey research design was used to collect data from first semester career-technical students within a program at East Central Community College in Decatur, MS. An instrument designed by the researcher utilized three demographic items and three open-ended questions to collect the data within a two-week period. A total of 274 surveys were collected. The data were analyzed through the use of descriptive and inferential statistics. The findings of the study indicated the variables of age and gender were shown to have significant relationships with college GPA. Dislocated workers were found to be older, female, and to maintain a higher GPA than non-dislocated worker students. Responses to the open-ended questions revealed that the majority of dislocated workers stated graduation to be a primary goal. Enhancements included support from family and financial aid, most commonly in the form of Workforce Investment Act “WIA” funding. Dislocated workers responded that personal finances and time management skills were the most difficult barriers to overcome in regards to meeting educational goals.