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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Undergraduate degree completion: A study of time and efficiency to degree
by Runyan, Lisa M., Ed.D., University of Missouri - Columbia, 2011, 259; 3515893
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine time and efficiency to undergraduate degree completion. Four dependent variables were examined including semesters enrolled, semesters elapsed, graduation efficiency index (GEI), and alternative GEI. Many independent variables were assessed to determine if they had a correlation to time or efficiency to degree. These variables were organized into six categories: student demographics, college preparedness, student enrollment pattern, student financial, college academic achievement, and college curriculum variables. Finally, the results for the dependent variables were compared across colleges, departments, and degrees to determine if any differences existed as a function of these variables.

This study was based on 1,585 undergraduate degree recipients from three semesters (summer 2010, fall 2010, and spring 2011) at the University of Central Missouri (UCM). Multiple methods of analysis were used to answer the research questions. These included a bivariate correlation analysis using a two-tailed Pearson correlation coefficient. After determining which variables were significantly correlated, an analysis utilizing linear, stepwise regression was performed. One-way analyses of variance (ANOVA) were also performed to determine if the differences between colleges, departments, and degree types were significant. When a significant relationship was found within a comparison group, a post-hoc Tukey HSD test was used to compare all possible pairs of group means.

Twenty-one variables proved to have statistically significant correlations to all four of the dependent variables. The strongest correlations were exhibited by transfer hours earned, age at graduation, cumulative hours attempted, and cumulative hours earned. Other strong relationships were found with age the student began at UCM, total summer semesters enrolled, and the average number of fall/spring hours attempted and earned at UCM. There were six variables that were not correlated to any of the four dependent variables. These were: gender, whether or not the student filed a FAFSA, the amount of loans taken in the senior year, the percentage of need met, the percentage of need met with gift aid, and whether or not a student completed a minor. Significant mean differences were discovered by both college of enrollment and type of degree. No significant mean differences were discovered by department of enrollment.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hutchinson, Sandy
School: University of Missouri - Columbia
Department: Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis
School Location: United States -- Missouri
Source: DAI-A 73/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Higher Education Administration, Higher education
Keywords: Credits to degree, Degree completion, Graduation, Graduation Efficiency Index, Time to degree
Publication Number: 3515893
ISBN: 978-1-267-43192-9
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