Proposal 1

Proposal 1



Proposal 1

Proposed Problem

The issue necessitating the respective empirical study in this research involves the low retention rate of students completing online education programs in South Carolina. This is one of the problems facing South Carolina irrespective of the abundance of schools operating online education programs within the regions. Irrespective of online education programs offering similar curriculum and degree of education as physical high schools, it is evident that students often express the desire to drop out of online education programs. The students surmise that their reason for dropping out of these programs involves the absence of communication with teachers (Boschee, Whitehead & Glatthorn, 2008). Consequently, other students assert that conventional classroom settings are more active based on the realization that students possess the capability to communicate freely with each other amid such settings. Conventional classroom settings aid students in finishing their assignments promptly since they are under surveillance.

As such, one of the main questions regarding research on this problem that needs an answer involves increasing the retention rate. Determining how to increase the retention rate for online high school programs in South Carolina actually comprises the problem statement. This is in accordance to the fact that the management of online education programs possesses the mandate of developing considerable and fair business strategies in order to maintain and increase student enrolment within the online programs. Another question that requires answer focuses on determining the strategy that the leaders of online high school institutions will implement regarding the retention rates. Such a question will determine how the leaders of the online high school institutions will handle increasing the number of retention rates taking part in the online education programs. This involves the implementation of strategies by leaders in order to amplify student enrolment in online education programs.

Purpose of the Study

The problem of low retention rates among students in online education programs in South Carolina is indeed a considerable and vital issue to address. This is because the retention rate for students taking part in this online education programs in the state of South Carolina illustrates the high percentage of students dropping out from this courses. Furthermore, it is daunting to view such a high number of students dropping out of online education courses based on the assertion that students can take the time they want to learn their respective courses. In addition, online education courses are flexible in terms of enrollment. This is because students possess the opportunity to enroll in their preferential educational courses online at any period (Palloff & Pratt, 2009). As such, it is considerably complex to understand the reason behind the high dropout rates from these courses. Furthermore, an issue such as this provides a platform to put the leaders of online high school education on the spotlight. This is because the management possesses a significant responsibility in supporting the appropriation of these courses and the management of online high school students in various online high schools within South Carolina.

The proposed results of the study will focus on providing a variety of strategies that the leaders of online education programs will adopt. This will allow for the mitigation of the problems causing most students taking online education courses to drop out. In addition, the results of the research study will allow the leaders of online education to determine the effective management of online education courses within high schools. As such, by concentrating specifically on the responsibility of leaders of online education in South Carolina, leaders of online education within the state will focus on living up to their responsibility regarding the mitigation of low retention rates in online education courses. Furthermore, the management will be able to formulate strategies that will aim at assisting students to view the advantages of enrolling in online education programs in the state. In addition, the leaders of online education programs will be able to construct an environment that will support the needs of the students and thus encourage them to enroll and stay in online education programs in the state based on the results of the proposed study.


Grounded Theory

In this case, applying a qualitative methodology will be suitable since it will focus on providing an intimate description of the situation facing the leaders of online education. Furthermore, the situation in this case involves the problem of low retention rates among students taking part in online education courses in South Carolina. Thus, a proposed qualitative methodology that is suitable for this proposed study will be the Grounded Theory. Charmaz (2006) states that the grounded theory comprises a collection of techniques that constitute structured and flexible principles for gathering and assessing qualitative data in order to create theories grounded within the respective data. Nevertheless, grounded theory also implies inductive thematic analysis. Guest, MacQueen & Namey (2012) assert that the inductive thematic analysis comprises reading through data from the text, coding the visible themes and then interpreting the system and theme content.

Thus, the procedure will involve choosing the human experience characteristic for the participant population, who comprise the leaders of the online education. Such attributes comprise factors such as behavior, knowledge, processes and structures, environmental setting and the social structure and associations. The next step will involve a selection of the methods of data collection. In qualitative methodology, the main techniques for data collection comprise populace observation, detailed interviews, center groups and textual analysis. Next, it will be important to determine if supplementary activities or processes will inform the proposed study. Such processes comprise Listing, Timelines, Delphi Technique, Ranking and Categorizing. Subsequently, it will be necessary to determine the sampling strategy and recruitment approach.

Narrative Analysis

This is another component of qualitative research. Narrative analysis comprises the use of personal accounts or narrative in order to derive data (Patton, 2002; Reissman, 2007). It is also suitable for this study since it will focus on gaining narratives from students of online education as well as the strategies that the leaders will use in order to mitigate the problem. As such, the main data collection methods for this approach mainly comprise interviews and focus groups. Through such data collection methods, narrative analysis will allow the researcher to receive information from students regarding their reasons for dropping out of online education courses. Such information will provide leaders of online education with the necessary information to formulate strategies that will aim at fulfilling the needs of the students. This will assist considerably in increasing the retention rates among online schools in South Carolina.

However, a major weakness for using this qualitative methodology involves the comparison of groups. In this case, the researcher may use focus groups as a data collection method to compare between online education students and physical school students. As such, using such a method will not reliably compare the groups since direct comparison is involved. As such, direct comparison will require quantitatively inclined content analysis that is more agreeable to direct and systematic comparison.


Ethnography involves performing observation and research regarding a certain community. Ethnography outlines that behavior undergoes considerable influence from a significant number of factors, which may include chronological precedents, the environmental milieu in which individuals live, social structures that entrench persons as well as the presiding symbolic surroundings (Fetterman, 2009). In this case, ethnography will also be suitable since it will focus on determining the reasons behind the behaviors of dropping out from online education programs by students in South Carolina. As such, this methodology for this particular problem will assist the leaders of online education in having a significant grasp on the influences that actually lead to low retention rates in online education programs. A weakness of this process involves the absence of statistical analysis to conduct assessment on the behavioral influences within the surroundings. It will be important to include quantitative methods in order to determine the probability that certain behavioral influences may pose on students taking part in online education programs in South Carolina.

Proposed Findings

The proposed findings regarding this study will determine the strategies that will be probable to implement regarding the increase in retention rate in online education programs. These strategies will comprise the approaches taken by the education management in addressing the dropping-out of students in schools from the respective online education programs. Furthermore, the research study will determine the role of the leaders of the online high school institutions in retaining students taking part in online education programs, as well as formulate and establish strategies that will focus on increasing the number of retention rates in the online education courses within South Carolina.


Boschee, F., Whitehead, B. M. & Glatthorn, A. A. (2008). Curriculum leadership: Strategies for development and implementation. New York, NY: Sage Publications.

Charmaz, K. (2006). Grounded theory: A practical guide through qualitative analysis. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Fetterman, D. (2009). Ethnography: Step-by-step. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Guest, G., MacQueen, K., & Namey, E. (2012). Applied thematic analysis. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Palloff, R. M. & Pratt, K. (2009). Assessing the online learner: Resources and strategies for faculty. New Jersey: Wiley & Sons.

Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research and evaluation methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Reissman, C. (2007). Narrative methods for the human sciences. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

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