Home Base: Defining the family's role in launching first-year commuter students

Jodi Dworkin, Marjorie Savage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

It is often thought that college students, both in the United States and Australia, who live at home with their family and commute to campus have non-academic priorities that cause them to be less invested or involved with their education than are residential students. However, research indicates that both have high academic aspirations, a strong commitment to learning, and an understanding of the value of participating in on- and off-campus activities. Engagement with the university community, however, is seen as one of the most powerful influences on students' academic and personal success, and commuter students are perceived to be at greater risk for not receiving these benefits. Without an understanding of the uniqueness of the relationship between commuting students, the university, and their families, it is not possible to determine how specific information and services might be modified to support commuter students as they face the developmental stages and practical issues that occur in the transition to higher education. This study, which collected qualitative data on the experiences of commuter students, is a first step in providing this critical information on university-parent-student relationships among families whose students are living at home. Results provide critical information on the experiences of commuter students throughout their freshman year, including providing specific strategies for better supporting commuter students and their families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-57
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of the Australian and New Zealand Student Services Association
Issue number36
StatePublished - Oct 1 2010

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