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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Differences in Critical Success Factors for Traditional and Nontraditional Online Students: A Case Study of a Proprietary College in Western Pennsylvania
by Epps, Amber M., D.Sc., Robert Morris University, 2014, 81; 10225652
Abstract (Summary)

With the increase in enrollment in online courses, comes the need for institutions to continue to encourage success and persistence, and ultimately provide appropriate support services. Additionally, postsecondary institutions have seen an increase in the number of nontraditional students enrolling in online courses as a means to further their education. Research indicates that nontraditional students may have different needs than traditional students. Because of this, it is important to examine if there are also differences in the factors that may lead to success for students in each group. Three research questions were designed to determine the success factors necessary for each group. These questions examined success factors for nontraditional students, success factors for traditional students, and whether there were differences in the success factors for each group. The participants in this quantitative study included students enrolled in an online undergraduate introductory computer course at a proprietary school. A survey was administered to gather data related to age, gender, work status, military experience, high school GPA, social networking usage, self-esteem, responsibility, technology skills, and organization. Final course grades were obtained in order to examine which students were successful, where success was defined as earning a grade of C or better. Data analysis revealed that the success factors for nontraditional students included being female and perceiving oneself as being responsible. In the traditional student group, being female was the only factor indicated as being necessary for success.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Rota, Daniel J.
Commitee: Jamison, David L., Wood, David F.
School: Robert Morris University
Department: Information Systems and Communications
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 80/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Higher Education Administration, Education, Educational technology, Higher education
Keywords: Critical success factors, For-profit school, Nontraditionl online student success factors, Online education, Online higher education, Student success
Publication Number: 10225652
ISBN: 978-0-438-53790-3
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