Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Capital Development


Interdisciplinary Studies and Professional Development

Committee Chair

Heather Annulis

Committee Chair Department

Human Capital Development

Committee Member 2

Cyndi Gaudet

Committee Member 2 Department

Human Capital Development

Committee Member 3

Dale Lunsford

Committee Member 3 Department

Human Capital Development

Committee Member 4

Patti Phillips

Committee Member 4 Department

Human Capital Development


An educated population renders economic returns for the country and the workforce. The relatively large number of college and university dropouts jeopardizes the nation’s presidential education mandate to increase the percentage of adults earning a postsecondary degree by 2020. Employee demand for higher skills motivates institutions to reduce the flow of dropouts in order to increase persistence to graduation. The number of students residing off-campus is increasing causing a larger nontraditional student population. Commuter campus administrators are challenged to retain students who may have families and full-time employment. This research compared student dropouts at a traditional residential campus with nontraditional dropouts from a commuter campus. Utilizing a descriptive, non-experimental assessment, this study sought to determine student withdrawal characteristics more applicable to a commuter campus.