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A National Study of Differences Between Distance and Nondistance Community College Students in Time to First Associate Degree Attainment, Transfer, and Dropout

Mon, April 20, 10:35am to 12:05pm, Marriott, Floor: Fourth Level, Sheffield


Previous research indicates that online learning at the community college level results in higher rates of withdrawal, failure, and dropout compared to classroom-based education (Xu & Smith Jaggars, 2011; Smith-Jaggars & Xu, 2010)). The primary goal of the current study was to examine national data on three outcomes for community college students with and without online and distance education experiences. The outcomes were attainment of first associate degree, transfer, and dropout. In contrast to previous research, compared to exclusively classroom-based students, significantly more students who had engaged in online/distance education had either attained an associate degree at the end of the observation period or transferred to a different institution. Implications for policy, practice and future research are discussed.