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Title:A Study of Graduates of Off-Campus Graduate Programs of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Change and Related Learning
Author(s):LeGrand, Barbara Fifield
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Farmer, James A.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Adult and Continuing
Education, Higher
Abstract:To meet the needs of working professionals, off-campus graduate programming offered by universities and colleges has increased during the 1980's. Few studies, however, have focused on changes experienced by the graduates of such programs. The purpose of this study was to understand the relationship between change in perceived professional performance, job satisfaction, and life satisfaction, and other related variables as experienced by the 1982-1986 graduates of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who took all or part of their coursework off-campus. These graduates primarily majored in education and social work with some in engineering and food science.
The use of transcript analysis of demographic variables was combined with survey research. The questions focused on experiences at program entry and the time the questionnaire was completed. Usable questionnaires were received from 435, or 77.1%, of 579 graduates. The data were analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively.
The main findings included: (a) Graduates who reported low life satisfaction at program entry generally experienced positive change in professionally related variables; however, they continued to experience low life satisfaction; (b) Graduates who were externally motivated to continue graduate education and were employed in the same jobs they held at program entry tended to experience negative change in job satisfaction; (c) Five types of learners were identified which were: low life satisfaction motivated learners, externally motivated learners, maintenance learners, occupational-role changers, and opportunity-seeking learners; (d) Those graduates who had internships in their programs generally experienced positive change in job satisfaction.
Finally, specific implications and recommendations for theoreticians and practitioners were described. In general, these recommendations related to strengthening support services to meet off-campus students' needs as identified in this study. One such recommendation was for continuing education professionals and faculty members to assist off-campus students to develop realistic expectations for changes in their personal and professional situations as a result of seeking a graduate degree off-campus. In addition, because this study focused on a specific population and professional group, the recommendation was made that research be extended to other universities offering off-campus graduate-degree programming.
Issue Date:1987
Description:206 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1987.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8803113
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1987

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