Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Yu, Chien

Committee Member

Prince, Debra L.

Committee Member

Okojie, Mabel C.P.O

Committee Member

Yu, Wei-Chieh Wayne

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Instructional Systems and Workforce Development

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Instructional Systems and Workforce Development


Over the past decades, online learning has contributed to a large percentage of educational success in higher education and K-12 learning environments. It has not only allowed a number of opportunities for students to receive education due to flexibility, reachability, but also additional course offerings and educational advancement. As K-12 online learning has continued to soar as an option for educating students, concerns relating to students’ success in these courses have arose. Due to the concerns relating to student success, researchers have sought to determine what attributes can contribute to student success in online courses offered to students in elementary and secondary education. Therefore, this study examined the relationships between academic success and demographic characteristics of high school students enrolled in online courses in order to determine the predictability of various academic and demographic characteristics on students’ success. The demographic and academic characteristics examined in the study included: gender, ethnicity, attendance, grade level, GPA, previous online experience, and lunch code (free, paid, or reduced lunch). The population for this study included 987 students who enrolled in online high school courses at central and southern Alabama high schools between the semesters of fall 2015 through spring 2017. After the data were coded and analyzed using a multiple logistic regression, four variables -- GPA, gender, grade level, and lunch code were found significant in the predictability of students’ success in an online high school course. The results showed: a) students with high GPAs, b) upper-grade level high school students, c) female students, and d) students who paid for their lunch -- tend to be more successful in completing an online high school course. The findings of this study can benefit school enrollment counselors, principals, administrators, and advisors to better assist with student enrollments in online high school courses. Future research is recommended to examine if any relationship existed between online high school student’s success and other academic and demographic characteristics such as students with learning disabilities, economic status of parents, number of disciplinary infractions, etc.