Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Kieran Killeen


Students transitioning into college from public school require more than just academic readiness; they also need the personal attributes that allow them to successfully transition into a new community (Braxton, Doyle, Hartley III, Hirschy, Jones, & McLendon, 2014; Nora, 2002; Nora, 2004; Tinto, 1975). Rural students have a different educational experience than their peers at schools in suburban and urban locations (DeYoung & Howley, 1990; Gjelten, 1982). Additionally, the resources, culture, and educational opportunities at rural schools also vary among different types of rural communities. Although some studies have examined the influence of rural students' academic achievement on college access and success, little research has analyzed the relationship between students of different types of rural communities and their persistence in post-secondary education.

This study examined the likelihood for college-going students from three different types of rural communities to successfully transition into and persist at a four-year residential college. Multilevel logistic modeling was used to analyze the likelihood for students to persist in college for up to two academic years based on whether they were from rural tourist communities, college communities, and other rural communities. The analysis controlled for a variety of student and high school factors. Findings revealed that student factors related to poverty and academic readiness have the greatest effects, while the type of rural community has no significant influence on college persistence.



Number of Pages

136 p.