Date of Award

January 2018

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Charles S. Hausman

Second Advisor

Sherwood Thompson

Third Advisor

Bill Phillips


Online education has grown significantly both in the number of courses offered and the number of degrees offered. The delivery format is being fueled by a student population that is growing more non-traditional. Work and family obligations dictate that classes are offered in a format that meets the needs of the students. The growth of universities toward online courses and degrees has brought opportunities to students, but it has also given institutions of higher education new income streams. In the case of public universities in Kentucky, this has helped offset reductions in state support. The viability of this format for course delivery rests in the success of those enrolled in those courses and programs. This study seeks to determine if students entering an online, undergraduate degree program at a state comprehensive university in the southeastern United States, perform at the same level, as measured by the grade earned in an introductory level major-program course, and persist at similar rates, as measured by first to second year retention. The effect of covariates on the online and on-campus outcomes were examined.