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A statistical analysis of the effect of the Navy's Tuition Assistance program : do distance learning classes make a difference?

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Authors
McLaughlin, Jeremy P.
Subjects
Advisors
Pema, Elda
Mehay, Stephen
Date of Issue
2010-03
Date
Publisher
Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School
Language
Abstract
This thesis analyzes the impact of participation in the Navy's Tuition Assistance (TA) program on the retention of first-term Navy enlisted personnel and the job performance of both first and second-term Navy enlisted personnel. This thesis estimates the effect of overall TA usage. It also analyzes differential effects of course delivery methods, comparing Distance Learning (DL) with face-to-face classes. Finally, the thesis investigates differences in course completion between DL and non-DL classes. To adjust for selection bias in the course completion and job performance models, the thesis estimates fixed-effects models that net out unobserved individual attributes. In retention models, selection issues are addressed by restricting the sample to recruits with similar motivation at the time of enrollment as TA participants. Data is analyzed for 10 accession cohorts, who entered the Navy between 1994 and 2004, to control for economic or other outside factors that may affect promotion or reenlistment. The analysis indicates that TA students enrolled in DL classes have lower course completion rates and lower grade point averages than sailors enrolled in traditional classes. However, TA students who successfully complete DL classes achieve greater success in terms of job performance. TA students who enroll in either DL or traditional classes tend to reenlist at significantly higher rates than their counterparts who do not use TA.
Type
Thesis
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Format
xiv, 73 p.
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Distribution Statement
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Rights
This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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