School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Fernando Garzon


Andragogy, Engagement, Institution, Peer, Retention, Sense of Community


Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Other Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social and Behavioral Sciences


This is a study examining the interaction between certain doctoral student engagement indicators (peer, institution, curriculum, faculty, spirituality) and student satisfaction. The scope is to understand if student sense of community is a significant moderator to this interaction in order to address the issue of student attrition. It is important to understand these interactions and the influence of sense of community so that institutions of higher education better analyze student commitment. The outcomes of this study may be used as a means to design and implement engagement strategies that are effective in student retention and completion. Doctoral students were invited through email to participate in a Likert survey comprised of multiple scales measuring the key engagement indicators along with sense of community and student satisfaction. The quantitative results show that engagement is a predictor of satisfaction and, in some cases, is significantly moderated by sense of community. This study supports contemporary research conclusions suggesting that both student engagement and academic communities are paramount to student satisfaction which will ultimately lead to higher rates of retention. Recommendations for future research include determining how online students will be better served through engaging academic communities and strategies designed to enhance the engagement experiences.