Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Agricultural Systems Technology and Education


Rebecca G. Lawver


Research conducted over multiple decades explores student attrition from higher education institutions. The majority of this research relates to traditional, on-campus student populations. However, colleges and universities are serving more nontraditional students than before by increasing distance education course offerings. Although enrollments are increasing, few studies examine retention of nontraditional learners in a distance education setting. Even fewer suggest institutional action based on student satisfaction of nontraditional, distance learners. This study examined student satisfaction and education-related priorities of Utah State University (USU) undergraduate students at regional campus locations throughout the state of Utah. Perceived programming needs were determined based on the discrepancy between student-reported satisfaction and importance rankings of education-related items. The highest discrepancies between priorities and satisfaction of undergraduate students at USU regional campus locations were: use of student activity fees, adequate availability of financial aid, tuition being a worthwhile investment, registering for classes with few conflicts, scheduling of courses to complete program, timeliness of financial aid announcements, academic advisor’s knowledge of major requirements, instruction within major, variety of course offerings, and classes being scheduled at convenient times.