Traditional and nontraditional students' perceived satisfaction with student services and programs in selected community colleges

Stephen Ray Kittrell


Current demographic descriptions of community college populations indicate that the overall number of nontraditional students now exceeds the number of traditional students enrolled; moreover, significant growth within several subgroups of nontraditional community college students is expected during the next decade. Student services and programs which were intended to assist 18-22 year-olds through various types of student development now find themselves serving growing numbers of students for whom those services were never intended. This study was designed to provide information on traditional and nontraditional students' perceived satisfaction with nonacademic student services currently provided at selected community colleges. A survey was conducted of traditional and nontraditional students (n = 10) enrolled in three public, comprehensive community colleges using a modified American College Testing Program Student Opinion Survey (Two-Year Form) instrument. A pilot study utilizing the modified instrument preceded the investigative study. The data included in the present study were treated statistically utilizing factor analyses, alpha reliability analyses, descriptive statistics, and canonical correlation analysis. Alpha reliability analyses generated reliability coefficients of.92 for the pilot study data and.82 for the investigative study data, respectively. Results of the canonical correlation analysis indicated that a meaningful, although small, degree of correlation existed between the two variable sets. Data indicated that traditional and nontraditional students experienced different levels of satisfaction with student services based on their place of residence, and indicated that this finding is most closely associated with Factor III (Basic Services) and Factor IV (Technology Services). Nontraditional students in the present study experienced slightly higher levels of satisfaction than did traditional students. Both traditional and nontraditional students indicated relatively high levels of satisfaction with student services. Based on the findings of the present study indicating that the two groups experienced a relatively small difference in their level of satisfaction with student services on the variables of the study, however, wholesale changes in the delivery of student services appear unwarranted.