Dissertation Defense Announcement
The College of Education announces the final dissertation defense of
Patricia Jane Easley
for the degree of Doctor of Education
April 7, 2016 at 10:00 am in 301 Browning Hall
Major Advisor: Jeffery Wilson, PhD
STANDARDIZED TESTS AND GPA AS PREDICTORS OF ACADEMIC SUCCESS OF PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANT STUDENTS ENROLLED IN PROGRAMS AT TENNESSEE BOARD OF REGENTS COMMUNITY COLLEGES
Physical Therapist Assistant programs have more applicants than available seats, making them highly competitive programs in which to gain admission. The community colleges that offer these programs are facing unprecedented challenges including the Complete College Agenda, outcomes-based funding, open-enrollment policies and high attrition rates. Given these conditions, a trend is emerging for program directors to institute some sort of standardized testing in order to select applicants whom the programs are most likely to retain and who will ultimately be successful on the licensure exam. This study examines the predictive validity of four standardized tests, the Nelson Denny Reading Assessment (NDRA), the American College Testing (ACT), the Test for Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) and the Health Information Systems Incorporated (HESI). These scores were compared to the predictive validity of the students’ cumulative pre-admission GPAs in order to interpret which academic factor makes a better predictor of student success. Results from the study indicated the NDRA and the HESI Reading Comprehension tests were the top two predictors of retention and first-time pass success, respectively. Cumulative pre-admission GPA as a predictor of retention and student success was, overall, not a statistically significant predictor of student success.