This research explores the effect that earning professional certificates has on student confidence, motivation, and persistence. For this study, the focus is the student motivation and persistence of nontraditional students who seek to earn a bachelor's degree despite considerable obstacles and challenges. Specifically, this study evaluates the matriculation rates between two cohorts of students who participated in the online PathwayConnect program. The first cohort was encouraged to complete the program and apply for an online bachelor's degree program at BYU-Idaho. The second cohort was also encouraged to apply to an online program, but only after earning a professional certificate in their desired focus of study. The study found that matriculation rates for students who earned a certificate increased over those who followed a traditional path. The research suggests that earning a certificate provided a lift in student confidence and motivation as the significant contributing factors to the positive change.
College and Department
David O. McKay School of Education; Instructional Psychology and Technology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Martin, M. Troy, "Student Retention and Persistence in Certificate-First Programs" (2021). Theses and Dissertations. 9232.
student motivation, persistence, certificates, matriculation