School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Gary Kuhne


Sense of Community, Self-efficacy, Andragogy, Senior Citizen


Education | Educational Leadership | Educational Psychology


Older adult students are at risk academically. The senior citizen population and average life expectancy are increasing globally, which results in an increased number of adults returning to school later in life. Sense of community is related to academic engagement, achievement, interactivity, and retention. Self-efficacy is related to motivation, learning, and academic performance. One gap in the literature is the relationship between sense of community and self-efficacy for senior citizen students. The purpose of this quantitative, correlational study is to determine if there is a relationship between sense of community and self-efficacy among senior citizens recently enrolled in a college-level course. One hundred students 50 years old and older attending a statewide Community College from a Midwestern state were surveyed using the Sense of Community Index II and Generalized Self-Efficacy Scale. Pearson’s r was used to identify the correlations. The results of the study indicated a significant relationship between sense of community and self-efficacy. The results could have implications for students 50 years old and older, educators working with older adults, and higher education administration developing educational policies and programs designed for non-traditionally aged students. Further research, qualitative and quantitative, is needed to further analyze the relationship of sense of community and self-efficacy among senior citizen students. More research is recommended on the effects of age on adult learners’ success comprising of students attending postsecondary education including but not limited to other community colleges, universities, for-profit or non-profit schools, community-led classes, workplace training, and grant-based professional development programs.