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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Value of Tuition Assistance Programs: A Multiple Exploratory Case Study
by Tlapa, Margie, Ph.D., The University of the Rockies, 2017, 141; 10682866
Abstract (Summary)

Organizations invest billions annually in the form of Tuition Assistance Programs (TAP) with little knowledge as to the reasons why employees choose to participate. The purpose of this multiple exploratory case study was to explore the perceptions of employees with access to a TAP of at least $5,250 per year. Interviews were conducted with 17 participants to elicit input on the perceptions and rationales related to participation in the program. In Case One (participators), the data suggests that communicating the intentions of the programs through marketing and individual development plans (IDPs) could help employees differentiate these programs from standard benefits. Next, the support role that managers played in the decision-making process encouraged participation and therefore, engaged them with work. In Case Two (non-participators), the data suggests that time is a considerable factor that prevented participation. Additionally, institutional barriers, such as financial holds on previously earned transcripts or an inability to apply work experience as experiential credits, caused discouragement and demotivated employees to participate. Lastly, this study provided the opportunity for cross-case analysis, which showed that manager support, regardless of the decision to participate in the TAP, improved an employee’s engagement and motivation at work. The analysis also showed that the intention, value, and benefits of the employers’ TAPs were not understood by the employees with access to participate. Implementation of IDPs for those eligible to participate in the program could help employees make the connection between the investments made in their education and their future career opportunities with their employer.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Kelly, Kathryn
Commitee: Smith, James M.
School: The University of the Rockies
Department: Organizational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Colorado
Source: DAI-A 79/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Adult education, Educational psychology, Higher education
Keywords: Continuing education, Employee benefits, Employee perceptions, Tuition assistance programs
Publication Number: 10682866
ISBN: 978-0-355-49650-5
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