Title page for ETD etd-02112004-132337

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Stubblefield, Luria Shaw
Author's Email Address lshaw1@lsu.edu
URN etd-02112004-132337
Title Students with a GED in Four-Year Institutions: The Voices of Persisters
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Educational Leadership, Research & Counseling
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Becky Ropers-Huilman Committee Chair
Eugene Kennedy Committee Member
James Wandersee Committee Member
Laura Hensley Committee Member
Faik Koray Dean's Representative
  • qualitative research
  • photography
  • persistence
  • academic integration
  • social integration
  • time on task
  • developmental education
Date of Defense 2004-01-22
Availability unrestricted
This study examined the persistence of students with a GED in four-year institutions. Qualitative research methods were employed to better understand the experiences of GED recipients relative to their progress towards baccalaureate degrees. The theoretical framework

for this study was symbolic interactionism.

Data were collected in two phases. After a pilot study, Phase I data collection consisted of two focus group interviews with three participants each from two institutions in Louisiana. For Phase II, 10 GED recipients at each university were engaged in semi-structured, in-depth interviews, photography, photo elicitation interviews, and document analysis of studentsírecords.

The data were analyzed using Lincoln and Gubaís (1985) Constant Comparative Method. The themes that evolved from the data were (1) quitting is not an option, (2) I just canít go back,

(3) family influences, (4) faculty influences, (5) age, (6) math anxiety, (7) developmental

education, (8) time on task, and (9) spirituality.

Comparatively, ďI just canít go backĒ was only prevalent with most of the African American males. The need to support a family was stated by more female GED recipients than males. The older GED recipients were persisting in college for more idealistic reasons, such as their desire to change the world and make it a better place. Overall, most of the GED recipients were academically integrated into the university setting, with very limited social integration.

Yet, the participants of this study provided rich evidence that GED recipients have many diverse

experiences that affect their persistence in four-year institutions.

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