Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)

Program

Educational Leadership

Date of Award

8-2015

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Donald Good

Committee Members

Donald Good, Catherine Glascock, Susan Graybeal, James Lampley

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to identify course sequencing associated with Industrial Technology Associate of Applied Science students who persisted to graduation at Northeast State Community College (NSCC) in Blountville, TN. The participants in this study were first-time full-time freshman Advanced Technology students whose 3-year program of study at NSCC happened during the years of 2009-2012, 2010-2013, and 2011-2014. Participants were divided into 2 groups, students who graduated (completers) and students who did not graduate (noncompleters). The researcher examined student persistence to graduation. Data for this study were obtained from the college’s information database.

The predictive variables used included whether a required learning support reading course was taken during semester 1, whether a required learning support writing course was taken during semester 1, the percentage of technical courses taken during semester 1, the percentage of technical courses taken during semester 2, the percentage of general-education courses taken during semester 1, and the percentage of general-education courses taken during semester 2.

This study was conducted using quantitative methods to determine course sequencing and relationships among course scheduling characteristics that may affect student retention and persistence to graduation. Data were analyzed using Chi Square tests of independence (2-way contingency tables) to determine whether there was a significant association among variables. The study data were used to analyze the relationship between the ratios of courses taken in either career-focused or general-education courses during the first 2 semesters of attendance. The hours taken value in each category was divided by the total hours attempted during the semester value. The data were coded as nominal data into 5 categories, 0%-20%, 21%-40%, 41%-60%, 61%-80%, and 81%-100%.

A Chi Square test of independence was used for the analysis of all questions to determine significance. All questions were analyzed at the .05 level of significance. The analysis indicated that students requiring at least 1 learning support course experienced a negative effect and were less likely to graduate from the program in 3 years. The percent of career-focused courses taken during the second semester were significantly related to graduation in 3 years. There was a negative effect on graduation in 3 years for students who enrolled in 40% or less career-focused courses and a positive effect for students who enrolled in 60% or more career-focused courses during the second semester.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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