The instrument used included the Student Engagement Instrument (SEI), a researcher-developed behavioral engagement scale, and demographic items.
A convenience sample of 184 students who enrolled in the Luna Crest College Adult Diploma Program completed this instrument and indicated their perceived levels of emotional, behavioral, and cognitive engagement.
Further, they were concerned about students' lack of academic preparation to meet the standards, because most of them are performing far below grade level, which places them at greater risks for failure.
These findings suggest teachers' voices and opinions are important factors to consider for designing appropriate educational policies, for teachers are the ones most closely affected by any legislative mandates and the ones who know their students better than any policymaker.
Adult education programs provide a viable option for adults who seek lifelong learning.
One type of such programs is the adult secondary program where high school dropouts can earn a high school diploma.If legislative mandates continue to be crafted without any basis in classroom realities, students will continue to suffer and flounder academically.Similarly, teaching will become a mere act of compliance as opposed to a creative exercise, which promotes the intellectual and personal growth of both the teacher and the learner.This is a significant contribution of this study, as there was not such an instrument available for use with adult education students prior to this study.In further analyses to examine the relationships between factors of engagement and persistence, Peer Support to Learning (PSL) was found to predict persistence of students in the adult secondary program.Persistence was operationalized with attendance hours of 62 hours or more, as students at Luna Crest College are required to complete at least 62 hours of school work to obtain credits for one course.The results of this study call for: (1) future efforts to modify the instructional format in adult secondary programs to promote peer support, student engagement, and student persistence, and (2) a more comprehensive examination of barriers that adult secondary students face in their endeavors to complete their programs.EOPS students did not complete more degrees within the six-year time period than their Cal WORKs counterparts.The results of this study suggests that community college administrators at the site from which data were drawn should: (1) Expand institutional research efforts by tracking the persistence rates of first-generation, low-income, African American female college students, because they are considered a significant part of the student population at Seaside Community College and (2) Complete a more comprehensive evaluation of services provided by the EOPS and Cal WORKs programs to more fully assess what affects the persistence of students.The findings from a confirmatory factor analysis showed that the instrument tested in this study reliably identifies factors of emotional, behavioral, and cognitive engagement among adult secondary students.It is expected that this instrument of engagement will provide adult educators and researchers with a useful tool with which to measure engagement within adult secondary students.