Perceptions and Realities of Academic Entitlement Behaviors, Beliefs, and Actions within the Basic Skills Population at the Two-Year College

This two-stage multistep exploratory study focused on academic entitlement behaviors, beliefs, and actions of basic skills students enrolled in the two-year college. The study utilized a constructivist framework to explore the concept of academic entitlement. The mixed methods design incorporated use of an instrument measuring academic entitlement behaviors and actions as well as interviews with students enrolled in the target basic skills courses at one California community college and surveys of basic skills faculty from three California community colleges. The researcher did not note many significant differences between traditional students and re-entry students. All students, regardless of status as traditional or re-entry, expected fairness and equality from their instructors. Additionally, all students expected good grades based on what they reported as effort. Furthermore, neither grouping of students was comfortable defining the phrase <italic>academic entitlement<italic>. The common theme amongst the faculty responses was that academic entitlement is a phrase that is used to describe a phenomenon where students believe they are deserving of a grade or a degree without having put in the effort to earn the grade or degree. Almost 70% of faculty surveyed reported that they feel academic entitlement is a problem among the basic skills student population; however, the reported perceptions of students and faculty did not align.