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ERIC Number: ED556966
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 239
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3039-6047-5
Student Attrition in Higher Education: Development of an Instrument to Assess Attrition Factors in Distance Learning Only Educational Environments
York, Jessica Ann
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Southern Connecticut State University
The purpose of this mixed methods study was to discover the factors and experiences that impact attrition in DLOEEs and to develop an instrument to assess them. Student attrition, those who do not persist voluntarily or involuntarily, occurs in all facets of higher education. In the last five years, the most growth in enrollments has occurred in the area of distance education, in particular in Distance Learning Only Educational Environments (DLOEEs). A DLOEE is defined as an environment in which the student completes the coursework for his or her entire degree, program or certificate entirely at a distance--online. The qualitative phase consisted of focus groups of students, advisors, faculty members, and institutional leaders were conducted. The data gathered was coded using an in vivo coding method and resulted in the identification of 13 factors and more than 60 sub-factors that impact student attrition. The Emergent Factors and Sub-factors were organized onto a longitudinal timeline. The data were used to inform the development of an instrument in the quantitative phase of the study. The Factors Impacting Student Attrition (FISA) survey was developed and piloted in a DLOEE. Core data from this study suggest that identifying the factors of student attrition ought to be important to all colleges and universities. The results of this study make a strong case for identifying the factors of attrition that impact one DLOEE; they also suggest a different approach to studying attrition at colleges and universities. Although the intention of this study was to identify the factors of attrition in DLOEEs, the triangulation of the literature review, data, and results suggest that studying attrition from an institution-specific perspective has important implications for all colleges and universities. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A