Houchins, C. (2016). THE ROLE OF COURSE DELIVERY METHODS IN PERSISTENCE AMONG NONTRADITIONAL UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS AS FOUND IN TWO FOUR-YEAR PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS. Unc Charlotte Electronic Theses And Dissertations.
This dissertation investigated the association of course delivery method with persistence of first-time, beginning, and transfer nontraditional undergraduate students at two public universities over a 6-year period (2009–2015). Research exists on nontraditional undergraduates, nontraditional instructional methods/delivery, and persistence among college students; however, most research does not combine these constructs in the way this dissertation has. This dissertation adds to research on persistence among a little researched, but large and growing, population in higher education, nontraditional students, by examining the association of course delivery methods with their persistence. Analysis of the data sets revealed strong persistence results at Rush (77%) and Southeast (68%), well above persistence for first-time beginning and transfer students entering in Fall 2009 or Spring 2010 at the two institutions, and exceeding rates reported in other studies of nontraditional students. Logistic regression did not support the researcher’s original non-directional hypothesis that course delivery method may be associated with persistence among nontraditional students at these two institutions. This dissertation study adds to research in four ways: (a) inclusion of an institutional lens added contextual data for better understanding of the quantitative result; (b) considering course delivery method as a factor in persistence; (c) providing contrast to the deficit perspective of attrition by focusing on persistence; and (d) adding evidence to the importance of multiple, cross-campus strategies that respond to student needs.