Date of Award

Summer 2019

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

School

Interdisciplinary Studies and Professional Development

Committee Chair

Dr. Heather Annulis

Committee Chair School

Interdisciplinary Studies and Professional Development

Committee Member 2

Dr. Cyndi Gaudet

Committee Member 2 School

Interdisciplinary Studies and Professional Development

Committee Member 3

Dr. Dale Lunsford

Committee Member 3 School

Interdisciplinary Studies and Professional Development

Committee Member 4

Dr. H. Quincy Brown

Committee Member 4 School

Interdisciplinary Studies and Professional Development

Abstract

A national concern exists surrounding the value and quality of American higher education, as well as the extended time required to complete an undergraduate degree. Extending the time-to-degree completion costs students in tuition, room, board, and most importantly, missed career opportunities. More than 60% of students fail to graduate within four years, delaying entry to the labor market and increasing costs associated with a college degree (Bound, Lovenheim, & Turner, 2012; National Center for Education Statistics, 2017).

Numerous studies highlight college student persistence and retention efforts (Goodman, Hurwitz, & Smith, 2017; Hull-Blanks et al., 2005; Tinto, 1987, 2017), a few examine time-to-degree completion (Bound et al., 2012; Cullinane, 2014; Kramer, Holcomb, & Kelchen, 2017; Letkiewicz et al., 2014), and fewer consider the influence of career services on time-to-degree completion (Sang, 2015). This non-experimental, cross-sectionalstudy examined the influence of using career services on time-to-degree completion. A census sampling was used to survey 223 undergraduates who applied to graduate from a four-year institution in the South during the Fall of 2018 and Spring of 2019 semesters. A researcher-created electronic instrument served as the data collection tool. Study findings reveal differences in time-to-degree completion for participants who used career services versus participants who did not. This study increases the knowledge of the influence of career services on time to undergraduate degree completion. Future time-to-degree completion research should consider a qualitative design and inclusion of other institutions.

ORCID ID

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2077-1059

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