It’s Complicated: The Relationship Between Participation in Academic Coaching and Program Completion in Online Graduate Students

Tara Lehan, Bethanne Shriner, Michael Shriner

Abstract


Among graduate students at one completely online university, it previously was found that participation in synchronous one-on-one academic coaching even once increased the odds of persistence 6 to 9 months later 2.66 times. To examine the longer-term impact of this service, this study was designed to investigate the relationship with program completion by comparing the same random sample of students who participated in academic coaching to the same matched sample of students in the same course with the same faculty member at the same time. In the academic coaching sample, the more times these students worked with an academic coach, the greater their odds were of completing their program. However, when the students from the matched sample (all of whom had 0 academic coaching sessions by definition) were added to the analysis, this relationship was no longer statistically significant. It was determined that the previously observed relationship between participation in synchronous one-on-one academic coaching and persistence in online graduate students might not endure through program completion, although the relationship between several demographic and academic variables and program completion did remain statistically significant. In light of these findings, if the goal is to increase their odds of completion, it seems that students who are already engaging with an academic coach (due to either self-selection or faculty encouragement/requirement) might be encouraged to continue to do so. Moreover, a “booster” coaching session might be helpful. However, there is insufficient evidence to support the practice of requiring participation in academic coaching among students who do not do so on their own.


Keywords


asynchronous academic coaching, learning assistance, online education, graduate students

Full Text:

PDF

References


Aljohani, O. (2016). A comprehensive review of the major studies and theoretical models of student retention in higher education. Higher Education Studies, 6(2), 18. https://doi.org/10.5539/hes.v6n2p1

Arendale, D. R. (2010). Access at the crossroads—Learning assistance in higher education. ASHE Higher Education Report, 35(6), 1-145.

Babcock, A., Lehan, T., & Hussey, H. D. (2019). Mind the Gaps: An Online Learning Center's Needs Assessment. Learning Assistance Review (TLAR), 24(1).

Bastrikin, A. (2020). Online Education Statistics. https://educationdata.org/online-education-statistics/

Berebitsky, D., & Ellis, M. K. (2018). Influences on personal and professional stress on higher education faculty. Journal of the Professoriate, 9(2), 88–110.

Bettinger, E. P., & Baker, R. (2014). The effects of student coaching: An evaluation of a randomized experiment in student mentoring. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 36(1), 3–19.

Britto, M., & Rush, S. (2013). Developing and implementing comprehensive student support services for online students. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 17(1), 29–42.

Brown, P. (2012). Degree attainment for adult learners. American Council on Education.

Brown, M., Hughes, H., Keppell, M., Hard, N., & Smith, L. (2015). Stories from students in their first semester of distance learning. International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 16(4), 1–17.

Capstick, M. K., Harrell-Williams, L. M., Cockrum, C. D. & West, S. L. (2019). Exploring the effectiveness of academic coaching for academically at-risk college students. Innovative Higher Education, 44, 219–231.

Chambliss, D. F., & Takacs, C. G. (2014). How college works. Harvard University Press.

Civitas Learning (2019). What really works: A review of student success initiatives. https://media.civitaslearning.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2020/02/Civitas_Learning_What_Really_Works_Report.pdf

Cooper, E. (2010). Tutoring center effectiveness: The effect of drop-in tutoring. Journal of College Reading and Learning, 40(2), 21–34.

Dawson, T. L. (2016). An analysis of the effects of a virtual community on mature learners’ feelings of isolation within online programs [Unpublished dissertation]. Northcentral University.

Felder-Strauss, J., Franklin, P., Machuca, A., Self, S., Offil, T., & Kuhlman, B. (2015). Best practices and creation of an online tutoring center for accounting, finance, and economic disciplines. International Journal of Education Research, 10(1), 39–52.

Field, A. (2017). Discovering statistics using IBM SPSS statistics (5th ed). Sage Publications.

Fullmer, P. (2012). Assessment of tutoring laboratories in a learning assistance center. Journal of College Reading and Learning, 42(2), 67–89.

Hart. C. (2012). Factors associated with student persistence in an online program of study: A review of the literature. Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 11(1), 19–42.

Ivankova, N. V., & Stick, S. L. (2007). Students’ persistence in a distributed doctoral program in educational leadership in higher education: A mixed methods study. Research in Higher Education, 48(1), 93–135.

Kuh, G. D. (2005). Student engagement in the first year of college. In M. L. Upcraft, J. N. Gardner, and B. O. Barefoot (Eds.), Challenging and supporting the first-year student: A handbook for improving the first year of college (pp. 86–107). Jossey-Bass.

Lancer, N., & Eatough, V. (2018). One-to-one coaching as a catalyst for personal development. An interpretive analsysis of coaching undergraduates at a UK university. International Coaching Psychology Review, 13, 1–25.

Laskey, M. L., & Hetzel, C. J. (2011). Investigating factors related to retention of at-risk college students. Learning Assistance Review, 16(1), 31–43.

Lehan, T. J., Hussey, H. D., & Shriner, M. (2018). The influence of academic coaching on persistence in online graduate students. Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 26(3), 289-304.

Muljana, P. S., & Luo, T. (2019). Factors contributing to student retention in online learning and recommended strategies for improvement: A systematic literature review. Journal of Information Technology Education: Research, 18, 19–57. doi: 10.28945/4182

Nettles, M. T., & Millett, C. M. (2006). Three magic letters: Getting to Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University Press.

Nicoletti, M. d. C. (2019). Revisiting the Tinto’s theoretical dropout model. Higher Education Studies, 9(2), 52–64.

Oreopoulos, P., & Petronijevic, U. (2019). The remarkable unresponsiveness of college students to nudging and what we can learn from it (No. w26059). National Bureau of Economic Research.

Oreopoulos, P., Petronijevic, U., Logel, C., & Beattie, G. (2020). Improving non-academic student outcomes using online and text-message coaching. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 171, 342–360.

Osborne, J. D., Parlier, R., & Adams, T. (2019). Assessing impact of academic interventions through student perceptions of academic success. Learning Assistance Review, 24(1), 9–26.

Packham, G., Jones, P., Miller, C., & Thomas, B. (2004). E-learning and retention: Key factors influencing student withdrawal. Education+ Training, 46(6/7), 335–342.

Price, L., Richardson, J. T., & Jelfs, A. (2007). Face‐to‐face versus online tutoring support in distance education. Studies in Higher Education, 32(1), 1–20.

Rakes, G. C., & Dunn, K. E. (2010). The impact of online graduate students’ motivation and self-regulation on academic procrastination. Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 9(1), 78–93.

Robinson, C. E. (2015). Academic/success coaching: A description of an emerging field in higher education. [Doctoral dissertation, University of South Carolina—Columbia].UMI Dissertation Publishing.

Sepulveda, A., Birnbaum, M., Finley, J. B., & Frye, S. (2020) Coaching college students who have expressed an interest in leaving: A pilot study. Coaching: An International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice, 13(1), 8–15. doi: 10.1080/17521882.2019.1574847

Slater, D. R., & Davies, R. (2020). Student preferences for learning resources on a land-based postgraduate online degree program. Online Learning, 24, 140–161.

Stone, C., & O’Shea, S. (2019). Older, online and first: Recommendations for retention and success. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 35, 57–69.

Tinto, V. (1993). Leaving college: Rethinking the causes and cures of student attrition (2nd ed.). University of Chicago Press.

Truschel, J., & Reedy, D. L. (2009). National survey—What is a learning center in the 21st century? Learning Assistance Review, 14(1), 9–22.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24059/olj.v24i3.2142



Copyright (c) 2020 Tara Lehan, Bethanne Shriner, Michael Shriner

License URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/