Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Davis, James

Committee Member

Campbell, Charles

Committee Member

Stonecypher, Wayne

Committee Member

Wiseman, M. William

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Community College Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Leadership and Foundations


The economic welfare of a community vastly depends on the business and industry it can attract and retain. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), occupations in which workers often are required to have an associate degree are growing faster than occupations that require other types of training. As the demand for more technical and vocational graduates increases, it is important for the community and junior college to retain the students to graduation and place them in jobs in their community. The purpose of this mixed methods research study was to determine the graduation totals and placement rates for Associate of Applied Science students from each community and junior college in Mississippi during the 2006-07 academic year. In addition, student demographic and education variables of graduates including age, gender, ethnicity, GPA, and ACT were obtained to determine their influences on graduation totals. The practices for retaining the Associate of Applied Science students to graduation and placing them in jobs were also determined. The findings of this study indicate the total placement rate relative to graduation totals for the 11 colleges that reported placement rate. The most prevalent demographic and education variables of retention included 63% of graduates in the 21-30 age range; 70% of the graduates were females, 66% were white, 36% were in the 3.0-3.49 GPA range, and 46% had a 16-20 ACT score. The methods for retaining these students to graduation were identified as extracurricular activities, new student orientation, tutorial programs, career center access, work study programs, counseling services, and developmental classes. The methods for placing these students in jobs after graduation involved the instructors spending a lot of time working with their local businesses and industry along with operating craft committees that met regularly with local business leaders. The results of this study indicate a high success rate for Mississippi community and junior colleges at retaining and placing students.



Placement||Retention||Community Colleges||Mississippi