Date of Award

Summer 8-29-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Laurie Goodman

Second Advisor

Dr. Keith Larick

Third Advisor

Dr. Stuart Van Horn


Purpose: The purpose of this mixed methods sequential explanatory mixed methods study is to explain the association between priority registration and student success as measured by success in transfer level mathematics and English at Sierra College. In addition, it to explain student perceptions of priority registration and their success and whether students perceive a relationship between their success and priority registration.

Methodology: Success will be measured according to the rates at which Sierra College students that are low income and first generation are successful in transfer level math and English. Research questions one and two consider the quantitative data collected from these sources. Questions one and two utilized a chi-square test for independence. Question three considers the qualitative data that is collected through a semi-structured interview design protocol. The interview design is a combination of focus groups interviews utilizing Dr. Raymond Padilla’s unfolding matrix design and individual interviews. The quantitative and qualitative data were combined sequentially; quantitative first with qualitative second to attempt to explain the quantitative results. The target population for this study is West Hills College Lemoore students. The study utilizes criterion purposive sampling to sample successful, low income and first generation students.

Findings: Examination of the mixed methods data revealed the relationship between priority registration and transfer level math and English success was one of independence. As well, students reported strongly that they view priority registration as a strong benefit to their navigation of the institution and through its registration processes.

Conclusions: California community colleges should consider the value of priority registration as a success initiative. It does appear to have a powerful effect as a means of rationing the resource of community college classes.

Recommendations: Further research is recommended to extend the research to all student populations. Additionally, one might examine the relationship between public crowd sourced tools like Rate My Professor and student success. Also, further study could test the relationship between priority registration and time to completion.