The purpose of this research is to determine whether independent undergraduate students in the US who enrolled in distance education classes were less likely to have an enrollment gap (an enrollment gap means enrollment for less than 9 months in a year) in 2008. Previous research has shown that preference for distance education classes is significantly greater among independent than among dependent undergraduate students; the former invariably have a greater number of competing demands (work and family) on their time. Since distance education courses provide students with more convenient and flexible class schedules, independent students who have time or location-constraints that prevent them from enrolling in face-to-face classes during a semester or quarter may be more likely to enroll in distance education classes in order to stay enrolled for the entire academic year. Based upon this rationale, we predicted that independent students who enrolled in distance education classes would be less likely to have an enrollment gap. To test this prediction, we used data from the National Postsecondary Student Aid Survey (NPSAS) conducted in 2008. The NPSAS 2008 used a complex survey design to collect data from a nationally representative sample of about 113,500 postsecondary undergraduate students in the US. Results confirm that enrollment in distance education classes in 2008 is significantly related to a decreased likelihood of an enrollment gap among independent students but not among dependent students. These results suggest that the offer of distance education classes could increase degree progress and completion rates for non-traditional undergraduates.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Journal of Asynchronous Learning Network|
|State||Published - Dec 1 2012|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Computer Networks and Communications