The relationship between student success course participation and engagement in community colleges
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Research on student success courses indicates they contribute to successful college transitions for four-year students. However, diverse demographics and enrollment patterns among two-year students suggest that success courses may not influence all students similarly. This mixed methods exploratory study examined success courses in case studies of four large community colleges. CCSSE and focus group assessments of engagement among course-takers and non-takers were compared for both part-time and full-time students. Analysis of key college documents provided an environmental overview as an interpretive context. Findings suggest that underprepared students and older students respond differently to success courses than well-prepared traditional-aged students. Institutional commitment, instructor selection, and an active learning format are indicated as key elements for effective success courses.