Predictors of Student Success in a Project Management Courses

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Issues in Information Systems




The importance of project management is increasing in Information Systems (IS) and Information Technology (IT) education. The IS model curriculum includes a course on project management, while the recently promulgated ABET CAC accreditation criteria for programs in IT state that graduates from IT programs must have the ability to assist in the creation of an effective project plan. Moreover, this interest in project management is partly driven by industry. For example, in its recurrent interviews with CIOs, the Standish group found that having an experienced project manager is now seen as one of the main factors for success in IT projects.

In a preliminary study reported last year, we found that having a project management course early in the program of study seemed to help students in subsequent heavily project-based courses. This was especially true in regard to students with a lower GPA. Given the importance of project management for student success, both after graduation and in their program of study, it is important to try to determine what factors are likely to increase student success in a project management course. In this research, we examine a number of factors, including performance in prior courses such as management and organizational behavior, statistics, and mathematics. We also examine whether there is a relationship between student success in a project management course and when students take the course in their academic programs.