Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Linda S. Hagedorn

Second Advisor

Stephen R. Porter


This study analyzed available individual-level data on the fiscal year 2004 cohort of Iowa GED candidates to identify demographic, economic, academic ability, and educational goal factors that predicted students' success from earning the GED to completing a community college credential. The theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1985; Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975), persistence theory for adult learners (Bean & Metzner, 1985), and human capital theory (Becker, 1992; Schultz, 1961) supported a conceptual framework asserting that a positive GED experience, mediated by demographic, economic, and ability considerations, may contribute to increased aspirations toward additional schooling. Probit models were used to determine statistically significant predictors for earning the GED (e.g., age, Latino, Black, goal of earning GED), enrolling in community college (e.g., female, age, GED reading score, goal of attending college) and completing a community college credential (e.g., female, age, GED writing score, goal of transferring to a four-year institution). Discrete-time hazard analysis was used to model the conditional probabilities of credential completion from fiscal year 2004 to fiscal year 2009. The study represents a first-of-its kind analysis of GED students in the state of Iowa.


Copyright Owner

Andrew Joseph Ryder



Date Available


File Format


File Size

152 pages