Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Workforce Education and Development

First Advisor

Putnam, A.


Higher education in the United States has a long history. Until the mid-1970's, higher education was primarily a not-for-profit industry. The rise of for-profit educational institutions (FPEIs) in the United States has created competition for traditional not-for-profit educational institutions (NFPEIs). As the growth of FPEIs continues, educational organizations are adopting businesslike approaches and quality measures to retain students. Measuring student satisfaction is one method for determining service quality, and can provide valuable insight into the students' expectations and perceived service quality. The recent introduction of an FPEI's audio production program in the Central Texas region has created competition for an already established NFPEI. In an attempt to find out whether expectation, satisfaction, or service gap differences exist between the programs, student satisfaction feedback was solicited from audio production enrollees at both institutions via the Noel-Levitz® Student Satisfaction InventoryTM. The instrument was used as a comparative tool at the program level and included 10 additional audio-production items. To aid in understanding how the local programs compare to one another, results were compared between the programs as opposed to using the national institutional-level benchmarks provided by Noel-Levitz®. Results indicate similar expectations in terms of priorities, but students at the FPEI have higher expectation levels overall. The satisfaction priorities had similarities as well, but students at the FPEI reported lower satisfaction in general. Finally, service gap measures indicated greater service gaps at the FPEI than at the NFPEI.




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