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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Variables predicting the retention of community college students in online courses
by Follis, Chad, Ed.D., University of Missouri - Columbia, 2015, 138; 10182606
Abstract (Summary)

Community colleges have seen large increases in students enrolling in online courses nationally. This trend does not appear to be slowing down, in-fact, the number of students enrolling in online courses is increasing. A number of these first-generation students come from disadvantaged backgrounds. This study attempted to isolate variables that can best predict a community college student's chance of successful completion in the online environment.

Ten variables were studied at one community college in Missouri (MOCC) during academic years 2010-2012. The variables were; College division, age, gender, academic semester, academic level, prior remediation, prior online course, grade point average, financial assistance, credit hours enrolled. The study used archived data with 9,540 individual cases. A chi-square analysis was used on the dichotomous and categorical variables and continuous variables were analyzed using an independent t-test. Once significance had been established the variables were analyzed again using a forced entry logistic regression to determine the statistical probability of the variables. All variables except prior remediation showed significance using the three analysis methods. The predictive abilities of logistic regression showed that students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, enrolled in a Career and Technology field of study, male, receiving financial aid, enrolled in 10.5 credit hours in the summer and an age of 30 were the most likely to successfully complete online courses at MOCC.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Watkins, Paul
School: University of Missouri - Columbia
School Location: United States -- Missouri
Source: DAI-A 78/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Higher education, Environmental engineering
Keywords: Community college, Distance education, Online learning, Retention rates
Publication Number: 10182606
ISBN: 978-1-369-30930-0
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