Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


White, Carol C.

Committee Member

King, Stephanie, B.

Committee Member

Coats, Linda, T.

Committee Member

Oswalt, Katie

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


Participation in non-classroom activities has been documented to extend the intellectual, social, and psychosocial outcomes of the college experience. However, the benefits of non-classroom activities are often difficult to quantify due their voluntary nature, with findings mostly related to students within four-year institutions. The purpose of this study was to determine whether rural community college full-time freshman students who participate in non-classroom activities differ from nonparticipants with regard to self-identified values of academic integration, social integration, degree commitment, collegiate stress, and institutional commitment. These five factors have been demonstrated to influence student persistence and were adopted from Davidson et al.’s (2015) College Persistence Questionnaire, Version 2 (CPQ-V2). CPQ-V2 data were collected using an electronic survey distributed during the Fall 2021 semester. Survey participants offered details about their personal background and involvement in non-classroom activities, followed by responses to a series of questions from an adapted form of the CPQ-V2. The chi-square test of independence and one-way ANOVA were used to identify significant associations or relationships between variables. Data were analyzed through the lens of Astin’s theory of student involvement and Tinto’s theory of student departure. The results of analysis detected statistically significant associations between students’ level of involvement and their program of study, residency, employment, parental education, and volume of online classes. Their type of involvement was found to have a significant association with student residency. The level of involvement among students was also found to be significantly associated with their self-reported sense of social integration and degree commitment, a finding that was accompanied by the types of involvement and their statistical significance to their sense of social integration. Results from the survey instrument can vary across institutions and student populations; still, the results further demonstrate the differences among student groups in their non-classroom involvement. Accordingly, practitioners should continuously monitor their institution’s effectiveness in providing non-classroom opportunities that meet community college students’ needs and support their persistence efforts.