Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




David J. Mathieu


Due to recent regulation, Chiropractic Colleges admit students with less than standard science courses and less than standard GPA. These students require tracking and support. How these students learn compared to standard admissions students is not understood. Researchers have demonstrated that students' learning approaches, strategies, and preferences vary based on educational background and culture and are related to performance. The purpose of this study was to better understand chiropractic students learning styles based on admissions status informing supportive efforts. The theoretical framework was based on Curry's work describing elements of learning on a spectrum from stable to flexible. In this cross-sectional quantative study, data were collected using 3 validated instruments (Approaches and Study Skills Inventory for Students (ASSIST), Learning and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI), and the Visual, Aural, Read/Write, and Kinesthetic (VARK) questionaire). The sample included all incoming students over 4 consecutive terms;195 entrants with 165 participants. Consistent with prior studies, analysis utilizing Pearson chi-square test of independence, revealed students with less science tend toward some surface learning approaches including: a significant difference in ASSIST subscale unrelated memorizing (p =.023) and a difference approaching significance for subscale syllabus boundness (p = .058). For students with a lower GPA, report frequencies of significance or approaching significance as a relative strength include: LASSI scale self-regulation (p =.029), and subscales concentration (p =.023) and use of study aids (p =.051). Admitting students from varying educational backgrounds, enables chiropractic colleges to include more underrepresented students. This study provided needed information to support these students.