Adult Student Persistence in Online Education: Developing a Model to Understand the Factors that Affect Adult Student Persistence in a Course

Raymond Joseph McGivney, University of Massachusetts - Amherst

This dissertation has been moved to the following series:


The purpose of this study is to investigate the factors that influence the persistence of adult students in online undergraduate courses at the community college level. Quantitative analysis of survey results from 476 students enrolled in on-line courses at two community colleges indicate that desire to complete the degree, previous experience in on-line courses and assignment completion are the strongest predictors of course completion. The findings from this research also provide the basis for making recommendations for future research and improving policy and practice. Finally, the results of this study suggest the basis for developing new models for understanding persistence in on-line courses.