Year of Publication

2013

Season of Publication

Spring

Paper Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

College of Education and Human Services

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)

Department

Leadership, School Counseling & Sport Management

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Leadership, School Counseling & Sports Management

First Advisor

Dr. Katherine L. Kasten

Second Advisor

Dr. Larry G. Daniel

Third Advisor

Dr. Paul D. Eggen

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Ronald F. Kephart

Fifth Advisor

Dr. John P. Kemppainen

Department Chair

Jennifer J. Kane, PhD

College Dean

Dr. Larry G. Daniel

Abstract

This retrospective, nonexperimental, quantitative study was designed to explore nontraditional students’ perceptions of satisfaction with their graduate education experience in a customized transnational educational context. This study was undergirded by theories and concepts gleaned from multiple disciplines. Disconfirmed expectations theory of consumer satisfaction derived from expectancy theory, which describes the motivations and behaviors of consumers who purchase a service but cannot fully evaluate the service until it has been consumed, provided the overarching conceptual framework for the research.

This research analyzed data from 62 graduates of a customized, transnational Master of Education program in educational leadership. Participants responded to a quantitative instrument that contained 18 questions related to various aspects of the respondents’ educational experience. The qualitative component involved responding to six open-ended questions.

Descriptive statistical analyses were conducted on the quantitative data. The analyses performed include frequency distributions, means and standard deviations, Cronbach’s coefficient alpha, and a correlation matrix for the dependent and independent variables and for the six subcategories. To examine whether differences in satisfaction with specified aspects of the program were reflected in differences in subscale satisfaction, t tests were also conducted. Conventional content analysis was employed to analyze qualitative data. Statistical analyses indicated that participants were satisfied with every aspect of their educational experience.

This empirical study contributes to the knowledge bank of student satisfaction in a transnational context. When the particular and peculiar needs of nontraditional learners are considered when designing graduate level programs, institutional accommodations are provided, courses that are relevant to students’ needs are taught by instructors with relevant andragogical skills, the appropriate support systems are in place, and the overall goal is to provide education that is relevant to the personal and career goals of the students, students will be satisfied with their educational experience.

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