ERIC Number: ED445590
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000
Efficiency and Effectiveness in Graduate Education: A Case Analysis.
Kehrhahn, Marijke; Sheckley, Barry G.; Travers, Nan L.
AIR Professional File, n76 Sum 2000
This study demonstrates how an institutional research process focused on Ph.D. students contributed to programmatic changes that increased the effectiveness of the program for part-time, adult graduate learners. From 1985-92 faculty in an adult and vocational education doctoral program gathered feedback from students on challenges regarding productivity, time-to-degree, and degree completion. It was determined that the efficiency problem appeared related to: unrealistic student expectations about the process and time frame for completing Ph.D.s; fragmentation of program phases so that coursework, research development, and dissertation research were disconnected activities; and inaccessibility of institutional and program supports. Faculty initiated various initiatives to make the program more efficient, including clarifying students' expectations; integrating program phases; providing necessary supports; and having students work through program phases as research teams formed around completing specific tasks toward degree completion. The intervention created substantial reductions in time-to-degree; it had the most impact on reducing the time it took doctoral students to decide on research topics and write acceptable research proposals. Implications for institutional researchers include the importance of focusing attention on adult part-time students; the importance of having a theoretical framework based on principles of adult learning; and the benefit of longitudinal designs with multiple data collection strategies. (Contains 19 references.) (SM)
Descriptors: Adult Students, Doctoral Programs, Educational Research, Graduate Students, Graduate Study, Higher Education, Institutional Research, Part Time Students, Program Effectiveness, Research Proposals, Time to Degree, Vocational Education
Association for Institutional Research, Florida State University, 114 Stone Building, Tallahassee, FL 32306-4462. Tel: 850-644-4470; Fax: 850-644-8824; e-mail: email@example.com.
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Association for Institutional Research.