Academic Success Of Non-Traditional Students: Factors Affecting Performance In An Upper-Division Undergraduate Accounting Course

Susan A. Lynn, Ida Robinson-Backmon


Many assessment activities are conducted within the context of AACSB International reaffirmation of business programs. Central to the AACSB evaluation process is assurance of learning standards. Learning goals vary among institutions because of differences in mission, faculty expectations, and student body composition. The objective of this research is to determine the factors that influence the academic performance of students in upper-level accounting courses and to assess student performance against course learning goals. The study explores the relative importance of both academic and non-academic factors in predicting performance outcomes. The results indicate that several academic factors (GPA, student’s diagnostic exam score, and student’s self-assessment of course learning objectives) are significant in predicting a student’s final numerical course average. The study also examines the association between student achievement of course learning goals and various non-academic demographic and student success factors. The results indicate that student course loads, employment status, marital status, and family responsibilities do not equally impact student learning outcomes. The study extends existing research by using non-traditional students at an upper-division university and a variety of approaches to assess the achievement of course learning goals. 

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