The purpose of the research study was to examine the influences of roles and support systems on the baccalaureate attainment of nontraditional learners. A qualitative bounded case study was conducted that include ten face-to-face interviews with nontraditional learners attending the same University during the same time period. The study provided a brief overview on the challenges, support systems, and motivations of these nontraditional learners. Theories used to frame the study's conceptual framework and address its research questions included Biddle's (1979) Role Theory, McClusky's Theory of Margin, Load and Power (1971) and Tinto's (1975, 1993, 2012) and Bean and Metzner's (1985) Theory of Persistence. The results of the study indicated: 1) The role management that adult learners employed while being a full-time or part-time student. 2) The challenges that adult learners had to address as it relates to their multiple roles and degree attainment. 3) The support systems that adult learners used to assist them in their efforts to role manage and persist towards graduation. 4) The motivations behind an adult learner's pursuit of an undergraduate degree.
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Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
College of Education and Human Performance
Child, Family, and Community Sciences
Educational Leadership; Higher Education
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Roberts, Shirdricka, "The Influences of Roles and Support Systems on the Baccalaureate Degree Attainment of Nontraditional Learners" (2017). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 5488.