Academic journal article Academy of Educational Leadership Journal

Estimation of General Education Program Enrollment

Academic journal article Academy of Educational Leadership Journal

Estimation of General Education Program Enrollment

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

This study examines the differential effect of various factors on three categories of general education program enrollment. Cross-correlation analysis reveals that the relationship between middle core and outer core is positively related. Moreover, the strength of the relationship stays strong and statistically significant up to lag3 (about year and a half). Thus, this study provides evidence suggesting middle core and inner core categories exhibiting long memory. In general, associations between outer core and middle core and middle core with inner core are found to be positively correlated after controlled for trend. This exhibits long-term statistical dependence in these factors. However, the magnitude and the nature of dependency comparatively differ between inner core with middle core and middle core with outer core. These cross-correlations are not widely examined and suggest an additional link between tiered academic programs and factors that are involved in the student enrollment dynamics. In addition, regression results provide confirming evidence of the contrasting effect of semester and time trend on the inner core, middle core, and outer core enrollments.

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INTRODUCTION

Course schedules are prepared and submitted by departments and schools well in advance of the start of the semester so that students are able to make plans for the timely completion of their academic degree programs. At this mid-western university, course schedules for the next fall semester are due at the beginning of November of the previous year, when admissions estimates, course pass rates, and student retention report are unavailable. However, the freshmen enrollment numbers stay relatively steady at around 3200, rarely differing by more than 100-200 students each fall. The schedules are available to students and advisors by the second week of November, early registration for continuing students begin in mid-March after spring break, spring grades are recorded in May, and freshmen and transfer student orientations begin in early June. Occasionally new instructors have to be hired to meet unexpected needs or current instructors have to have their schedules adjusted because of shifting demand. It is difficult for those instructors who are hired near the beginning of the semester to adequately prepare. It is also difficult for those students who are on a waiting list. Making precise predictions when preliminary schedules are constructed and adjusting these estimates as soon as possible are extremely important. Although complete relevant information on enrollment is not available at the time of prediction, an analysis of historical data makes it possible to construct generic course prediction models that are robust and fairly accurate for estimating the enrollment. This type of course prediction model can facilitate releasing additional seats to new students by better estimating seat requirement. New student registration is distributed over the summer preceding the fall semester through a series of sessions where students may register for courses. Universities use seat release systems to give similar enrollment opportunities to all incoming students. A seat release system also hedges fall course predictions by partially filling each section over time rather than filling each section in sequence. The model we present establishes the estimated demand for seats among three categories of General Education courses, namely Inner Core, Middle Core, and Outer Core courses. The model we present establishes the estimated demand for seats among three levels of General Education courses that were designed to be largely sequential, namely Inner Core, Middle Core, and Outer Core courses.

Enrollment prediction for general education courses, which provides information to the decision makers for budget planning and other aspects of planning, is important in many ways for the institution. …

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