This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

An Investigation in the Relationship between Institutional Incentives and Student Persistence at a Southeastern Technical College




Cosgrove, Emily

Type of Degree



Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology


The purpose of this study was to examine connections between student engagement in institutional incentives and student persistence until graduation or program completion. Students ranked their ascribed levels of importance regarding institutional incentives and their satisfaction with the current implementation of those efforts at a technical college in Georgia. Following the data collection and analysis phases of this study, the results revealed that, overall, every objective stated in questions 1-50 of the Adult Student Priorities Survey was considered important to the student persisters who took the survey. Further, overall, persisters were satisfied with these objectives. The results from this study showed that student persisters were significantly less satisfied with safety and security, registration effectiveness, admissions and financial aid, and service excellence at their institution than the surveyed group of national adult students. Further, these data results showed that student persisters were significantly more satisfied with the notions of valuable course content within their majors, tuition payments as worthwhile investments, and their advisors’ help in applying their academic majors to specific career goals then the national adult student comparison group. Above all, future research should strive to examine connections between student engagement within traditional four-year and community college institutions with that of technical and vocational schools. While this research adds to the body of knowledge regarding student persistence in technical and vocational education institutions, there is also a need to further explore relationships between student engagement in institutional incentives and persistence prior to program completion. This research would provide information to assist legislators, as well as institutional administrators, faculty, and staff as they work to increase student persistence and retention until graduation.