The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between student involvement in tutoring and timely completion of an associate’s degree among first-time, full-time students attending Oregon rural community colleges. Timely completion was defined as earning an associate’s degree within three years. Propensity score matching was used to control for selection bias, and logistic regression was used to analyze the relationship between tutoring hours and completion. Through the lens of Astin’s Student Involvement Theory, it was hypothesized that there would be differences in characteristics between students that participated in tutoring and those that did not participate. It was also hypothesized that tutoring hours would be positively related to completion.
This study examined the characteristics of tutored and non-tutored students and how the two groups differ. Chi-square results indicated that tutored and non-tutored students differ by pre-college variables, but not demographic variables. Additionally, a t-test showed that degree completers had a mean number of tutoring hours nearly double that of non-degree completers. After using propensity score matching to control for selection bias, and logistic regression showed that the odds of degree completion increase as tutoring hours increase. Findings of this study have implications for funding and budgetary decision-making, decision-making pertaining to the marketing and/or mandating of tutoring, and the daily practices or instructors, academic advisers, and students. The findings of this study also support prior research and fill a gap for rural community colleges, largely underrepresented in prior tutoring research.