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Predicting the career success of Air Force Academy cadets

John J Rodriguez, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

The purpose of this retrospective study using probit regression techniques was to determine the factors that best predicted the career success of Air Force Academy cadets and to develop a predictive equation based on those factors. The Department of Institutional Research at the United States Air Force Academy provided the data for the study. The Department of Institutional Research combined admissions and Academy data maintained at the Air Force Academy with aeronautical status data from the Air Force Personnel Center. The sample included all admitted cadets between the years 1982 and 1999 for which complete data were available. ^ Career success was defined as an additive function that combined years of service and the attainment of the appropriate rank for time served. The definition of success was tailored for each year group. ^ In order to achieve the purposes of the study, three hypotheses were tested. The hypotheses were: (1) admissions variables had a statistically significant impact on the career success of Air Force Academy cadets; (2) Academy variables had a statistically significant impact on the career success of Air Force Academy cadets; and (3) aeronautical status had a statistically significant impact on the career success of Air Force Academy cadets. ^ In order to test the hypotheses, six regressions were computed. The third regression was found to be the most accurate. It was 97.34% accurate in predicting which cadets would fail to achieve career success as Air Force officers. It was 12.50% accurate in predicting which cadets would achieve career success. The overall accuracy of the third regression was 75.57%. ^ These results suggest determinates of the career success of Air Force Academy cadets largely occur after graduation. These results also suggest it is possible to identify those likely not to achieve career success using admissions and Academy variables. Academy leadership may then design and implement interventions to increase the likelihood cadets will achieve career success. Recommendations for the Air Force Academy leadership were proposed based on these results. ^

Subject Area

Economics, Labor|Education, Higher|Military Studies

Recommended Citation

Rodriguez, John J, "Predicting the career success of Air Force Academy cadets" (2008). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3309209.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3309209

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