Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)

Program

Educational Leadership

Date of Award

12-2016

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

W. Hal Knight

Committee Members

Bethany Flora, Don Good, Michael Hoff

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the associations between the 3-year completion rates of first-time, full-time, transfer degree-seeking community college students, participation in activities that may encourage persistence and retention, and the demographic variables of ethnicity, Pell grant recipiency, gender, and ACT or Compass subscores in English/writing, reading, and math/algebra. The researcher used a snapshot of students’ degree completion three academic years after initial enrollment to determine 3-year completion. The study focused on first-time, full-time students who were pursuing associate of arts or associate of science degrees at a nine-campus community college in eastern Tennessee. Students who were pursuing applied science degrees, workforce certificates, or other credentials were excluded from the population. Students first enrolled in Fall 2010, 2011, and 2012, and their 3-year completion windows ended in Spring 2013, 2014, and 2015, respectively. The population consisted of 398 degree completers and 964 non-completers. The dependent variable in this study was 3-year completion. The independent variables in this study were participation in service learning courses, participation in courses that involved study abroad, and participation in student athletics, as well as ethnicity, Pell grant recipiency, gender, and ACT or Compass subscores in English/writing, reading, and math/algebra. Two-way contingency tables and Chi square were used to examine the associations between each independent variable and the dependent variable. Multiple logistic regression models were used to examine the associations between all variables.

The quantitative findings indicated students who participated in service learning, study abroad, and student athletics were more likely to complete their degrees within three years. Additionally, findings revealed Pell grant recipiency, gender, and ACT or Compass subscores in English/writing, reading, and math/algebra predicted students’ 3-year degree completion. Ethnicity was found to have no significant effect on the 3-year completion rate.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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