The project participants are the allied health program faculty, the academic program directors, and the student affairs staff. In total, nine individuals will be included.
The capstone participants will learn how to assess levels of motivation, determine engagement strategies, and set realistic achievement standards and goals. The capstone project is organized by segments labeled ‘training sessions’, ‘data collection and analyses’, and ‘EWS creation’. The project will occur in ebbs and flows – which is based on the idea that “the action researcher ‘spirals’ back and forth between reflection about a problem, data collection, and action” (Creswell, 2011, p. 587). The ‘training session’s’ component of the project is divided into nine different in-service sessions. The information from the literature review will be applied to the creation of a slide deck for each session.
Each face-to-face session will be followed by a discussion room that will remain open for six days. The participants will use the content from the slide decks (and in-class discussions), to address the case presentation. For example, session one deals with student motivation. The participants will approach the case presentation to target motivational issues and discuss how to approach and investigate associatedissues. Then, to assist the participants in championing the training session topics the case presentation will be repeated within each subsequent session with only slight variations. These ‘variations’ will be based on the contributions of the participants. For example, gradually, over the course of the nine sessions, character in the case presentation will either demonstrate more motivation, more engagement, increasing levels of achievement and succinct goal-setting strategies or not, based on the commentary occurring in the online component/discussion forums. In the end, characterwill either be prevented from dropping because the participants contributed to her success or she will drop because the participants couldn’t find a way to support her persistence.
Bryman College is a for-profit institution that maintains a constant enrollment of students to all programs offered. And, the reason for this is clear – Budgetary cutbacks occurring in the public, non-profit sector of education drives enrollments at for-profit colleges and universities. For example, in 2010, a decrease in California’s State funding for community college subsidy essentially precluded access to education to as many at 21,000 would-be students (Bennett Clark, 2011). In sharp contrast, the for-profit sector of education remains willing and able to enroll the overflow created by fiscally-driven decisions. According to Kingkade (2012), “A report released [in 2012] by the U.S. Treasury Department shows a correlation between state budget cuts to community colleges over the past decade and a growth in enrollment at for-profit colleges. There is no getting around the point that many more students are attending for-profit colleges because seats are available in a vast number of programmatic offerings. In fact, of the 1.5 million students enrolled between 2000 and 2009 at for-profit colleges, “61% are enrolled in institutions that offer four-year degrees, 24% are [enrolled] in two-year institutions, and 15% attend less-than-two-year institutions” (Baum & Payea, 2011, p. 1). Bryman College is an excellent example of how a for-profit college, run as a business, creates space to meet the demand for education whenever state or community colleges engage in cutbacks. For instance, as City College of San Francisco (adjacent to the Bryman College campus) began cutting back on student enrollments, Bryman College noticed a 28% increase in applications. This translates into more students who present to the college with varying abilities. System wide, there are the important implications to graduating “1.5 million” more academically and/or professionally prepared individuals on the U.S. economy? According to the American Institutes for Research, “…students who began as full-time students but failed to graduate in six years, cost the nation approximately $3.8 billion in lost income, $566 million in lost federal income taxes and $164 million in lost state income taxes” in 2008 (Schneider & Yin, 2011, p. 2). This fact underscores the need to address postsecondary student outcomes. Last year alone, Bryman College lost out on a significant source of operating revenue when 38% of students attending (within a 15 month period) dropped from programs. In other words, 38% fewer medical assistants, pharmacy technicians, massage therapist, and dental assistants graduated from programs at the college. As such, this capstone project aims to apply current literature on student attrition to drive higher rates of persistence. The project goal is to train personnel (teachers and staff) on four key areas: student motivation, student engagement, student achievement and student goal-setting. In the end, an Early Warning System that works to alert staff of pending student issues will result in higher rates of persistence.
Louis Cabuhat, Academic Dean
•Allied Health Faculty
•Academic Program Directors
•Action Research: targeting
•Nine in-service training
•Based on a ‘developing’ case
Online and face-to-face
Let’s Have a Great
• Baum, S., & Payea, K. (2011). Trends in for-profit postsecondary education: enrollment,
prices, student aid and outcomes. Retrieved from
• Bennett Clark, J. (2011, May). The real deal on for-profit colleges. Retrieved from
• Creswell, J. W. (2012). Education research: planning conducting and evaluating
quantitative and qualitative research. (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.
• Kingkade, T. (2012, December 26). Community college funding shrinks, for-profit
enrollment grows: treasury report. Retrieved from
• Schneider, M., & Yin, L. (2011, August). The cost of low graduation rates: how much does
dropping out of college really cost?. Retrieved from