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Migration choice and success rate in online courses at Michigan community colleges

Mark Ulseth, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This dissertation examined students enrolled in community college online classes. The purpose of the research was two fold. First, where did online distance education students select online courses: at their local community college or another community college to which they were not most closely geographically connected? In addition, what factors determined this choice. Second, were student success rates different in online courses at their local community college as compared to a community college to which they were not geographically connected? The sample included 23,818 duplicated student records where students enrolled in online classes through the Michigan Community College Virtual Learning Collaborative (MCCVLC), Jackson Community College (JCC), or Lansing Community College (LCC). Transcript and demographic records were used to discover student migration and to evaluate student success through grades. Survey responses were used to ascertain the students' decision-making processes in finding and selecting a community college. ^ Four research questions were studied with thirteen null hypotheses. The hypotheses were that there would be no significant difference between local community college students at JCC and LCC compared to students selecting courses away from their local community college via the MCCVLC. ^ Findings were that MCCVLC students were significantly different from online students at JCC and LCC. Most notably, (1) MCCVLC student resident distribution was further from campuses compared to JCC and LCC student resident distributions that were nearer to campus; (2) MCCVLC students were concerned about time and travel issues, while JCC and LCC students were influenced by home college preference; (3) MCCVLC students received proportionally more “A” grades than their counterparts at JCC and LCC. In addition, grade distributions were statistically similar across different county groupings from the MCCVLC provider colleges, while JCC and LCC grade distributions were not similar. ^

Subject Area

Education, Community College|Education, Technology of

Recommended Citation

Ulseth, Mark, "Migration choice and success rate in online courses at Michigan community colleges" (2004). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3159567.