Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


Dr. Jane Matson


Large numbers of students who are 26 years of age or older, are enrolling in California community colleges to seek educational opportunities that will bring them job and coping skills, employment training, financial security, and emotional stability. These students, many of whom are between the ages of 26 and 49, may be classified as reentry students. The definition used in this study for a reentry student is a student 26 years of age or older who returns to or enters an institution of higher education after an absence of five or more years from a formal educational program. The purpose of this study was to develop a model plan for a support-services programs for reentry students in California community colleges. This purpose was accomplished by completing three procedures, the first of which was to review the literature about successful support-services programs for reentry students throughout the nation. The components of applicable, suitable and effective reentry support-services programs were selected for use as strategies to be used in the planning of a support-services program for reentry students in the California community colleges. The second procedure was to gain information by the use of a specially constructed questionnaire. The questionnaire was developed to determine what administrators of support-services programs for reentry students are doing at the present time as well as to determine what they expect to do in the future. The questionnaire was sent to the 108 California community colleges, and it was addressed to the dean of student services or the most likely choice of administrator who would be administering the support-services programs and programs for reentry students. Of the 108 California community college administrators who were sent the questionnaire, 71.30 percent completed and returned it in usable form. The third procedure was to identify and analyze components of the support-services programs that were reviewed as well as the components that administrators would like to include in support-services in programs. Published reports that were reviewed in the literature as well as responses to the questionnaire formed the basis for this identification and analysis. It was concluded from the results of the questionnaire that significant numbers of California community colleges recognize the need for providing support services and programs for reentry students. The providing of support services depends to a large extent on the funds that are available in a given community college. it was also concluded that a support-services program for reentry students will not fulfill all of the support service needs of all reentry students. However, the research of the literature and the findings from the questionnaire indicate that all of the support services and programs of the college should work cooperatively. To accomplish his cooperation, a multidimensional management team or planning group should be forced to provide a coordinated effort to provide support services and programs to meet the needs of as many reentry students as possible. It is recommended that each college should have firmly in my mind the goals to be reached through the support-services program. It is recommended that the dean of student services should be the central administrator to coordinate and supervise the support services program, and he/she should also be the head of the multidimensional management team and planning group for the support services. The management team and the planning group should consist of the dean of student services and representatives from each of the eight segments of the support services. These are: student information assessment center; the academic advisement center; the KOPS office; the learning center; the financial aids center; the child-care center; and health services. By limiting the management team and planning group to ten or fewer members, the flexibility and effectiveness of the group will increase. Not only is a model plan for a support-services program recommended and discussed in detail, but also recommendations are made as possible ways to accomplish the goals of the support-services program for reentry students. These recommendations are included in the sections on funding; recruitment; evaluation; student information assessment center or offices; job placement and development; classes, workshops and meetings; paraprofessionals; and community agencies. The management team and planning group may well consider using the options and strategies that are recommended when making management and planning decisions for the support-services program for reentry students.

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