Date of Conferral

2017

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

School

Education

Advisor

Marianne E. Borja

Abstract

Poor completion rates in the radiation therapy associate's degree program offered through a community college did not meet the standards set by the college and damaged the program's reputation. The relationship between admission criteria and program completion was not known. The purpose of this study was to determine if there were any relationships between the admission criteria (GPA in prerequisite courses, interview scores, writing sample scores, and preadmission testing scores) and students' completion of a radiation therapy associate's degree program. This correlational study used 2 stages of Tinto's retention theory: (a) recruitment and admission to college and (b) pre-entry assessment and placement. Retrospective data, collected from an accredited radiation therapy program offering a 2-year degree, provided a sample size of 70 anonymous student records. The point biserial coefficient was used to analyze the data. The results yielded a significant, moderate, positive relationship between the interview score and student completion. No other significant relationships were found. The professional development program that was derived from the study sought to teach program directors about interview skills and tactics. The ability to identify at-risk students in the admission process is expected to contribute to social change by improving completion rates; improving satisfaction among students, faculty, employers; and ultimately improving the quality of patient care.