CEC Theses and Dissertations

Title

Factors Affecting Student enrollment and Retention in the Master of Science in Management Information Systems Degree Offered by Nova Southeastern University

Date of Award

1996

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

Steven R. Terrell

Committee Member

Laurie Dringus

Committee Member

John Kingsbury

Abstract

A study was performed to identify factors affecting student enrollment and retention in the Master of Science in management information systems degree offered by Nova Southeastern University. In its early years, this university distinguished itself through unique program offerings in both the traditional and nontraditional formats. Competition for student enrollments among higher education institutions has become fierce and programs offered in flexible formats are no longer unique to this university. Research was performed and a survey instrument was developed to measure levels of student satisfaction with the program. Enrolled students representing the traditional on-campus format and the nontraditional online format formed the two independent test groups. The survey was administered and statistically analyzed to measure the student's level of satisfaction with the program. Study findings included: (I) more than 65 percent of the responses from the total sample agreed or strongly agreed with all of the statements in the instrument; (2) the online and on-campus means for total sample were nearly identical; (3) more than 50 percent of the respondents had completed less than 4 classes; (4) less than 10 percent of the respondents had completed 9 or more classes; (5) about 51 percent of the respondents were more than 36 years old. Results revealed that in all measurements of student satisfaction in this study, no significant differences between the online and on-campus groups were found. Nova Southeastern University has not only pioneered unique models of delivery but the results of this study indicate their students were satisfied. In an era when most higher education institutions are reporting more than 32 percent student attrition this program has maintained an attrition rate of less than 10 percent. It appears that Nova Southeastern University has created a desirable model that other institutions may want to study and emulate.

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