Robin A. Duncan is a 2018 graduate of the PHD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.

Dr. Robin A. Duncan [center] at her Dissertation Defense with her Committee, Dr. Carol Baron, Committee Member [left], Dr. Jon Wergin, Committee Chair [right], and Dr. Ruth Slotnick, Commitee Member [on screen, attending virtually].

Dissertation Committee

  • Jon Wergin, Ph.D. Committee Chair
  • Carol Baron, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • Ruth Slotnick, Ph.D., Committee Member

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The purpose of this study was to explore students’ perceived value of their community college experience and its relationship to other factors often related to student persistence in college, namely satisfaction, academic quality, service quality, and engagement. The research was guided by three focused questions: How do students describe and define perceived value of community college; what components emerge from exploratory factor analysis of items designed to measure perceived value; and how, if at all, is a student’s perception of the value of a community college experience different from related measures such as satisfaction, engagement, or quality? Data were collected from students enrolled at, primarily, three Massachusetts community colleges, employing a three-phased, mixed methods exploratory sequential approach. Phase 1 consisted of focus group interviews with students from one of the participating colleges to identify the themes and language for developing the perceived value construct. Phase 2 consisted of an online survey targeting currently enrolled community college students. Factor analysis identified key components of the perceived value scale and multiple regression analysis determined the relationship between perceived value and other control variables. Phase 3 consisted of a virtual post survey focus group with voluntary survey participants from Massachusetts community colleges to discuss and clarify the quantitative results and narrative survey responses. The dominant theme emerging from the findings was that students described perceived value as “I am valued” by the college. Results also indicated that the perceived value construct was different from other measures and suggested promising ways for further exploring and measuring student persistence. As a result of the study’s findings, a conceptual framework in the form of a Perceived Value Wheel was proposed with recommendations to community college leaders and practical contribution to higher education leadership and change. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive, and Ohiolink ETD Center,


Dr. Robin A. Duncan

ORCID Scholar ID # 0000-0002-8436-1916

Robin Duncan is the former Vice President of Marketing and Communications and Senior Advisor to the President of Mount Wachusett Community College. With over 20 years in community college leadership, she currently serves on the CASE National Community College Advisory Committee and is a Member Consultant for the Registry for University and College Presidents. As a recipient of the esteemed American Association of Community College’s NCMPR Communicator of the Year award, Robin has been recognized as a “change-maker” who accomplishes goals by employing big-picture results-driven strategies. Robin holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing Management from SUNY at Empire State College, a Master of Science in Business Administration from Anna Maria College, a Master of Arts and Ph.D. in Leadership and Change from Antioch University. Her scholarly research is student centered and explores perceived value of the college experience