Perceptions and Experiences of Urban Students on a Rural Campus: A Phenomenological Study


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This qualitative study examines the experiences of seven participants from a Midwest urban city who attended a small Midwestern community college. The primary data are from comprehensive interviews which were analyzed and coded in accordance with the following research question: What are the experiences, challenges, and advantages of students from urban communities who are attending a rural community college? Six major themes were extrapolated from the study: sports, food, degrees offered, people, small campus, and activities. These themes were analyzed through the theoretical lenses of Astin (1999), Bourdieu (1977), Eaton and Bean (1995), and Tinto (1993). This research revealed reasons urban students are unhappy attending rural campuses. The themes generalized from the data are examined. Recommendations to address each theme are offered for college and high school personnel who are in positions to guide students to prospective educational endeavors.



Habitus, Persistence, Phenomenological research, Retention, Rural college, Urban student