Examining the Factors Affecting Student Dropout in an Online Certificate Program

Fethi Ahmet INAN

This study examined the factors affecting student dropouts in an online certificate program. In this research, a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods was used. Online Course Dropout Survey was developed and used to determine which factors affect student attrition from the program. The dropout survey was sent by e-mail to 98 students who had dropped the program. Twenty-six students returned the survey. The findings show that the most important factor affecting student retention is finding sufficient time to study. Having personal problems and affordability of the program took second and third place.

KEYWORDS: Online Learning; Online Certificate Programs, Online Students; Online Student Dropouts, Student Attrition