Theses and Dissertations


King, Stephanie B.

Committee Member

Fincher, Mark Edward

Committee Member

Coats, Linda T.

Committee Member

White, Carol Culter

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Immediate Worldwide Access

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Community College Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Education


Department of Industrial Technology, Instructional Design, and Community College Leadership


The purpose of this quantitative research study was to determine if differences exist in academic achievement based on student SES as measured by grade point average (GPA), credit hours earned, and completion of the academic year for rural community college students enrolled during the 2018-19 academic year. The study used existing data from a multi-campus rural community college located in the Southeastern region of the United States. To answer the research questions, existing data were collected from this community college. The independent variable collected was SES, as measured by Pell grant eligibility. The dependent variables collected included GPA, credit hours, and completion. T-tests were conducted to answer research questions 1 (GPA) and 2 (credit hours earned). A Chi-Square Test for Independence was used to answer research question 3 (completion). Results for research question 1 indicated no statistically significant difference in GPA based on SES. Results for research question 2 indicated a statistically significant difference for credit hours earned based on SES, but not in the way literature supported since low SES students had higher credit hours earned. Results for research question 3 indicated no statistically significant relationship between completion of the 2018-19 academic year and SES. As a result of the study, recommendations to the leadership of the community college were given in hopes that it will lead to the betterment of the college.