Committee Chair

Petzko, Vicki; Bernard, Hinsdale

Committee Member

Rutledge, Valerie; Anderson, Dee Dee


Dept. of Education


College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


The purpose of this study was to examine the interrelationships of academic readiness, social integration, and perceptions of residence hall experiences of returning sophomores at a southern university. The literature has provided a basis for the impact of academic readiness on retention as well as the role of social integration on the overall freshman experience. This study added to the existing body of research by collecting information from freshmen through the Beginning Survey of Student Engagement (BSSE) prior to enrollment, the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) during the spring semester of first year and a Residence Hall Perception survey administered during spring semester of the sophomore year. These data were analyzed to determine what differences existed from pre-enrollment social expectations and actual experiences according to academic readiness. Furthermore, it explored the perceptions of residence hall experiences based upon academic readiness. The findings from this study revealed statistically significant results for expectations of time spent in co-curricular activities as compared to actual time spent in co-curricular activities during the freshman year. The study also found other important information about the interactions the freshmen had with roommates and friends. There was also great insight into their involvement with campus organizations during the first year, as well as perceived advantages and disadvantages of living on campus as a freshman . Administrators will be able to utilize this research by designing first year residential programs that enhance the overall experience for future freshmen.


To my parents, Jimmy and Anita Hood - Thank you for all of the support that you have provided throughout my life. You always encouraged me every step of the way and have made many dreams come true. Dad, I especially appreciate your encouragement in the decision to pursue this doctoral degree. To my sister, Deborah Brown and family - Thank you for the encouragement. I love and appreciate you all. To the Kennedy family-Thanks for welcoming me into your family for the past 15 years, I am fortunate to be part of a wonderful family and look forward to many more years. To my colleagues at UTC - Thanks to those who have shared conversations about this research and ultimately helped to make it better and more meaningful. To others who have encouraged and allowed for me to take time off in order to make progress throughout the process, I am forever grateful. To our family and friends - Thank you for your encouragement throughout this program. To the UTC students, who were freshmen for fall 2008 school year and participated in my data collection - Thank you. I truly could not have done this without you. To C2- I'm grateful for the friends that I've made and support received during our doctoral studies. I often wondered if it would all be worth it. Now I know the answer is YES!!


Ed. D.; A dissertation submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Education.




College students--Social conditions; Academic achievement; Educational sociology--Tennessee--Chattanooga


Higher Education

Document Type

Doctoral dissertations




xi, 109 leaves



Call Number

LB2369.1 .H662 2010