Graduate Program

College Student Affairs

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Richard L. Roberts


The use of college success courses by community colleges in recent years has had a significant impact on the academic success of their first-year students. Although studies have shown increases in grade point averages and retention rates for students enrolled in success courses, few have examined student perspectives of these courses. The intention of this study was to gain an understanding of the student perceptions of college success courses and how they shaped their college experiences. By using a phenomenological method of inquiry, the researcher interviewed six community college students enrolled in a college success course. The participants were students of first-year status of which three were on academic probation and three were in good academic standing. Results showed that participants perceived the course to be instrumental in improving their self-image, abilities to forge relationships, academic competence and student engagement. Participants discussed the impact college success courses had on the development of their sense of belonging and academic aptitude and how these factors helped shape their college transition.