This research study examines the contexts and situations that influence student attrition at a K-12, fulltime, comprehensive, cyber (online) charter school in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. As compared to their bricks and mortar counterparts, the attrition rate of students attending online K-12 schools appears to be higher. Research shows that student attrition in K-12 online schools and programs appears to be an ongoing phenomenon experienced in other states where cyber schools operate as well. In fact, the attrition phenomenon has been documented to be true even for adults that attend online courses at the college and university level. While there is scholarly research addressing the phenomenon at the university level, there's a dearth of empirical research at the K-12 level. As such, this study will provide an opportunity to carefully investigate the myriad situations and complexities involved in parent decision-making, as they decide to withdraw their children attending the cyber-school.
The research study consults scholarly literature of student persistence in online, higher education programs and adapts some of those concepts, ultimately incorporating them into a cogent conceptual framework. The analysis undertaken is conducted utilizing a case study approach, incorporating mixed methodologies. After surfacing a brief history of online education, the research study applies binomial logistic regression on variables uncovered through data collection. It then progresses to qualitative analysis of a variety of historical school provided data and selected participant interviews.
The research provides a first-hand view of the myriad issues and concerns that combine in decision-making as students and parents involve themselves in cyber learning. It also highlights the operational demands that make K-12 cyber education a dynamic environment.
|Commitee:||Nabors Olah, Leslie, Rust, Frances|
|School:||University of Pennsylvania|
|Department:||Educational and Organizational Leadership|
|School Location:||United States -- Pennsylvania|
|Source:||DAI-A 78/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||K-12 cyber education, K-12 virtual education, Pennsylvania, Student persistence in online programs, United States|
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