Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Terrence A. Tollefson

Committee Members

Donald Samples, James H. Lampley, Jasmine R. Renner


The purpose of the study was to identify factors that were positively associated with persistence to graduation by students who were admitted to Health-Related Programs leading to the degree associate of applied science at Northeast State Community College. The criterion variable in this study was persistence, which was categorized into two groups the persister group (program completers) and the nonpersister (program noncompleters) group. The predictor variables included gender, ethnic origin, first- (or nonfirst-) generation-student status, age, specific major program of study, number of remedial and/or developmental courses taken, grades in selected courses (human anatomy and physiology I and II, microbiology, probability and statistics, composition I, clinical I, clinical II), and number of mathematics and science credit hours earned prior to program admission. The data for this ex post facto nonexperimental design were located in Northeast State's student records database, Banner Information System.

The subjects of the study were students who had been admitted into Health-Related Programs of study at a 2-year public community college between the years of 1999 and 2008. The population size was 761. Health-Related Programs of study included Dental Assisting, Cardiovascular Technology, Emergency Medical Technology -- Paramedic, Medical Laboratory Technology, Nursing, and Surgical Technology.

A combination of descriptive and inferential statistics was used in the analysis of the data. Descriptive statistics included measures of central tendency, standard deviations, and percentages, as appropriate. Independent samples t-tests were used to determine if the mean of a variable on one group of subjects was different from the mean of the same variable with a different group of subjects. It was found that gender, ethnic origin, first-generation status, and age were not significantly associated with persistence to graduation. However, findings did reveal a statistically significant difference in persistence rates among the specific Health-Related Programs of study. Academic data including grades in human anatomy and physiology I, probability and statistics, and composition I, suggested a relationship between the course grade and persistence to graduation. Findings also revealed a relationship between the number of math and science courses completed and students' persistence to graduation.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.