Electronic Theses and Dissertations


Open Access Dissertation


Six sigma (Quality control standard); College students--Services for--Iowa--Cedar Falls--Quality control; Tutors and tutoring--Iowa--Cedar Falls--Quality control;


The Academic Learning Center at the University of Northern Iowa provides tutoring and advising services to enrolled students at the university. As Iowa legislatures consider performance based funding, having accurate and timely student usage data is imperative for the Academic Learning Center as the data is used in making funding decisions. The purpose of this research is to improve the student usage verification process and increase the accuracy of data collected by a math and science tutoring center located in the Academic Learning Center. An Access database was designed to record and track the math and science tutoring services provided and verify the usage data maintained by the AccuTrack system. The Six Sigma DMAIC methodology was used to improve the verification process and the DMADV method was applied when testing the reliability of the database. The Six Sigma DMAIC process improvement methodology improved the efficiency of the learning center’s AccuTrack verification process. The DMADV methodology is an effective tool for testing the reliability of the new database in verifying the center’s usage data. The cycle time for completing the verification process improved by 63% from an average of 44 days to 16 days. Before the process, the number of errors per report ranged between 25 and 111 with an average of 60 errors per report. After the process was improved, errors per report ranged between 0 and 32 with the average number of errors per report being 8. Applying the Six Sigma techniques can refine existing processes and increase the efficiency of a learning center. Accurate usage data assist in acquiring funding and validating request for increased staffing, expanding services, and evaluating the effectiveness of learning centers. The Six Sigma process improvement techniques have not been applied in a tutoring or learning center. The research validates using the Six Sigma DMADV and DMAIC methodologies in these settings.

Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Technology


Department of Technology

First Advisor

Julie (Zhe) Zhang

Second Advisor

Shahram VarzaVand

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (vii, 117 pages)



File Format


Available for download on Thursday, June 28, 2018