Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Public Policy


Muskie School of Public Service

First Advisor

Dr. Jeffrey Beaudry

Second Advisor

Dr. Glenn Cummings

Third Advisor

Dr. Walter Kimball


Online and non-online learners, institutional effectiveness, opportunities for online learning experiences


Institutions of higher education, states, and government agencies are seeking avenues for increasing access, improving learning outcomes, and increasing student retention. The majority of chief academic officers polled indicate that online learning is key to the growth of their institutions, while simultaneously indicating concern that online learners are less likely to succeed and persist. A common construct for how institutions can facilitate student success and persistence is the notion of engagement . Since 2000, campuses have relied upon the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) to guide institutional policies and practices supporting student success.