Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Higher and Adult Education


Higher Education

Committee Chair

Wilson L Jeffery

Committee Member

Colton Cockrum

Committee Member

Wendy Griswold

Committee Member

Donna J Menke


Physical Therapist Assistant programs have more applicants than available seats, making them highly competitive programs to gain admission into. 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 test, the Nelson Denny Reading Assessment (NDRA), the American College Testing (ACT), the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS), and the Health Education Systems Incorporated exam (HESI). These scores were compared to the predictive validity of the students' cumulative pre-program GPAs in order to interpret which academic factor makes a better predictor of student success. The study revealed that GPA was only significant in two of the cases and it also revealed that the NDRA and the HESI Reading Comprehension tests were the top two predictor of retention and firt-time pass success, respectively.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.