Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Jill Channing

Committee Members

James Lampley, Richard Rhoda


The purpose of this non-experimental quantitative case study was to compare the academic success of community college students over three academic years (2016-17 through 2018-19) before the onset of COVID-19 based on final grades and the influence of student factors, class size, and faculty characteristics using archival data from selected online and on-ground classes at a Middle Tennessee community college. Student factors reviewed include gender, full-time or part-time status, and age (traditional or non-traditional status). Instructor characteristics reviewed included full-time or part-time (adjunct) teaching status and tenure or non-tenure status of faculty. Institutional data for this study consisted of 44,568 student records comprising 34,006 on-ground classes and 10,562 online classes. For the percentages provided, audit and incomplete or missing data were excluded. In this study, the mean grade point average (GPA) of all students with prior GPAs was 2.7. Unique student registrations totaled 13,400 students and unique instructors totaled 198. Eight research questions were answered from these data using Chi-square statistical tests. The final study showed a variety of results. When comparing student success for online and on-ground, online students were generally more likely to be successful, while on-ground students were generally more likely to be unsuccessful. In online courses, female students, part-time students, and non-traditional students were more likely to be successful. Class sizes fewer than 11 were generally more likely to produce successful students. Successful students were generally more likely to be taught by full-time faculty and tenured faculty.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.