Redefining nontraditional students: Exploring the self-perceptions of community college students

Karen A. Kim, Linda J. Sax, Jenny J. Lee, Linda Serra Hagedorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Recognition of the nontraditional student in higher education is valuable because it promotes an awareness of issues particularly relevant to the community college student population. While research that categorizes students by age is a practical way to study a unique population within community colleges, this approach may not be the most preferred way to examine the complexities of community college students. This study focused on community college students' self-perceptions of their primary roles as students, employees, and parents, thereby offering an alternative to utilizing predefined categories in order to distinguish between groups (e.g., based on age). The findings also shed light on unique characteristics that differentiate among students who identify their roles primarily as students, employees, or parents. In fact, this study shows that even students often considered "traditional" may have qualities that are typically considered nontraditional.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)402-422
Number of pages21
JournalCommunity College Journal of Research and Practice
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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