Models of completion time for the baccalaureate degree.

No Thumbnail Available
Lu, Xiancheng
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Middle Tennessee State University
The purpose of this study is to analyze the factors that determine the delay of graduation. The author builds models to assess the impact of multiple relevant factors on degree completion time. The identification of these variables should assist university administrators and faculty to revise recruitment, assessment, and placement policies and practices.
This study selected a sample of the students who graduated in Fall 1991, Spring 1992, and Summer 1992 at Middle Tennessee State University. The explanatory variables can be categorized into three groups: demographic factors, pre-college factors, and college relevant factors. Ordinary least squares (OLS), Lognormal, and Poisson regressions are employed to describe associations between independent and dependent variables. Monte Carlo tests are then used to evaluate the models. Treatment effects are measured for a number of variables in order to correct for selection bias. Marginal effect, standardized coefficient, and elasticity techniques are used to assess the variables.
The results of this study indicate that degree completion time is primarily attributable to the college relevant variables. These factors include failure in and withdrawal from some courses, recovery from stopout, graduate grade point average, taking extra credit through personal interest, lack of financial aid, studying for minors, changing majors, and attending summer school.
Other results suggest that the degree completion time is not related to ethnic background, age, gender, hometown location, degree type, military service, and early declaration of a major.