Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Educational Policy and Leadership

Content Description

1 online resource (ii, iv, 150 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Daniel C Levy

Committee Members

Kevin Kinser, Peter Shea


college choice, distance education, factor analysis, healthcare, higher education, nursing, College choice, Universities and colleges, Nursing schools, Nursing, Web-based instruction, Internet in education, Distance education

Subject Categories

Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Higher Education | Nursing


The expansion and diversification of postsecondary education in the United States has led to greater options for students and prospective students for pursuing a college degree. An important trend in higher education today is distance education. Despite the growing prevalence of distance learning opportunities and the expanding body of research on distance education, research on the college-going decisions of distance learners is sparse. As more students enroll in distance-based higher education programs, it is increasingly important to understand how and why students make the decision to enroll in collegiate degree-granting programs. This study bridges the college choice and distance education literatures to better understand students’ decisions to enroll in distance-based nursing degree programs. A factor analysis provides a framework for discussing the elements of the traditional college choice models reported to be important to college decision-making for these distance learners, as well as elements from the distance learning literature shown to impact program quality, student satisfaction, and degree completion.