Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies

Committee Chair

Elizabeth A. Jones.


Because the vast majority of community colleges were founded to serve commuter students who live within a local and regional area, student residential housing at two-year institutions has been seen as unnecessary. However, an increasing number of community colleges are opening student resident housing. In contrast to all the research available about the impact at four-year institutions of residence (resident students and commuter students), the literature review revealed there has been little research on resident students and commuter students on community college campuses (Murrell, 1998).;This study can be characterized as a preliminary investigation into whether resident students' and commuter students' reported levels of involvement in activities, achievement of educational goals, and satisfaction with the educational experience were the same or significantly different at one rural community college. The Community College Student Experiences Questionnaire (CCSEQ) (Pace, Murrell, Friedlander, & Lehman, 1999) was used to measure the diverse characteristics, goals, external responsibilities, college environment, and desired outcomes of the community college students at this institution. Descriptive statistics, Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA), and t-test of independent means were used to analyze the data.;Results from this study indicated that statistically significant differences between resident and commuter students existed in all three aspects (involvement in college activities, estimates of gains or progress towards educational goals, and student satisfaction with the college environment) of this study. As anticipated, resident students had higher levels of involvement in college activities than commuters. A finding in this study was the number of community college students who "never" or only "occasionally" participated in many of the college activities. The means for both groups---resident students and commuter students---indicated a low level of involvement in selected activities. An unexpected finding was that commuter students perceived that they have made more progress towards their career goals than resident students. Additionally, commuter students reported higher levels of satisfaction with the college environment than resident students. Based on previous studies, the researcher expected residence students to perceive that they were progressing towards educational goals and they were satisfied at higher levels than commuter students.