Online Degree Programs Dropout

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Many benefits are associated with enrolling in an online degree program. Flexibility, convenience, overall lower cost due to the savings of travel expenses and parking passes, and a higher degree of anonymity, are the most common benefits of enrolling in an online program. Moore and Kearsely(2005) indicated that most online students are adults between the ages of 25 and 50.(resource number 7) In 2003, 34 percent of 1000 representative higher education institutions offered a complete online degree program (Allen & Seaman, 2004)(Resource number 7). Many students are satisfied with the benefits associated with an online degree program. However, there are challenges, such as no face-to-face interaction with peers and teachers, and having a home environment not conducive for independent study. What factors are causing online learners to drop out of their online degree program? With technology continuously dominating society, it is with no surprise that students are using technology to earn their degree online. An increasing number of colleges and universities are offering degrees that can be earned entirely online. One study ( 17 indicated a total enrollment of 16,611,710 students in the Fall of 2002 and increasing to 20,994,113 in Fall 2011, with the trend in online enrollment continuing to rise. While the overall trend of online enrollment shows an increase, many students decide to drop-out of their degree programs. According to one study, the student drop-out rate of a sample of students at Kansas State University, reported the drop-out rate at 25%. (Resource number 6). In addition to this study, another studied found that 70% of students enrolled in an online degree program... ... middle of paper ... ...d could have a number of competing responsibilities that may compromise continuous enrollment (Howell et al., 2004). Mature adults with family and career obligations may not be able to continue to pursue an online degree given the432 / HAYDAROV, MOXLEY AND ANDERSON challenges and opportunities life presents. According to Diaz, one plausible explanation for allegedly higher online attrition rates is . . . many online students who drop a class may do so because it is the right thing to do. In other words, because of the requirements of school, work, and/or family life, students can benefit more from a class if they take it when they have enough time to apply themselves to the class work. Thus, by dropping the class, they may be making a mature, well-informed decision that is consistent with a learner with significant academic and life experience. (Diaz, 2002, para. 10)

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that online education is becoming more and more popular with learners today. online degrees give students real-time course delivery and provide videos, demonstrations, and additional online resources.
  • Opines that career obligations may not be able to continue to pursue an online degree given the lack of online degrees.
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