National Institute for Urban School Improvement
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Access and Success in Web Courses at an Urban Multicultural Community College: The Student's Perspective

This study explores the question of access in Arizona's postsecondary electronic education environment by looking at an urban community college with a highly diverse student population. Phoenix College (PC) is a community college in the Maricopa Community College District in Phoenix, Arizona. A number of neighborhoods near the campus showed a household income of 50-75% below the poverty level. Ethnic minorities represented 57% of the student body at Phoenix College. The college is early in its Web course development, and offered only 16 Web courses in the spring term of 2001. Courses required by or that applied to a large cross-section of academic and occupational degree and certificate programs were selected for the study in order to obtain a broad representation of majors and educational goals among the student sample. The study looked at 10 sections of freshman-level general education courses. The sample included 252 students--140 returned an electronic survey, and 100 participated in the follow-up interviews. Women represented 56% of the PC student body, but 65% of the Web students were women. Older students were underrepresented in the Web courses under study: 6% of these students were aged 40 or older, while 19% of students at PC were over 40. The study also found that the majority of Web students were White, and there were proportionally fewer Hispanics registered in the Web courses. (Contains 32 references.) (NB)

  • Contributor: Moore, Patricia L.
  • Date Published: 00-00
  • Year: 2002

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