Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Brocato, D. Kay

Committee Member

Watson, Joshua C.

Committee Member

King, Stephanie B.

Committee Member

Davis, James E.

Committee Member

Wiseman, William M.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Community College Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Educational Leadership


It is believed by many that in order to be competitive in the global economy, we must provide opportunities for the college-age population to enroll in post-secondary education and complete training in higher education. The purpose of this study was to determine the perceptions of administrators, faculty, and student support service staff regarding retention practices and services used by the community college to retain full-time, associate degree seeking students from their 1st year to 2nd year of enrollment. A descriptive research design was used in this study, and data analysis included frequencies, means, Mann-Whitney U test, and Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA. A survey was distributed to a sample of 349 participants who were employed in a community college requesting their perceptions regarding the importance of 22 advising center's practices and services. The study served to increase knowledge of retention practices and services provided by a community college with 6 campus locations. Findings from the study revealed that 5 of the 22 advising practices and services had a significant difference while the other 17 practices/ services had no significant difference. Significant differences were found in the perceptions of administrators, faculty, and support staff in the following areas: (a) the practice /service extended freshman seminar or orientation credit course, (b) the practice/service policies for advising of students by faculty, (c) the practice/service of academic accommodations for students with learning disabilities, (d) the practice/service early warning system for academically at risk students, and (e) the practice/service special support programs for racial/ethnic minorities. The results of this study revealed that the role of administrators, faculty, and support staff is a fundamental component in the retention of students.