An Analysis of Faculty Perceptions of Nontraditional Degree Programs: Education, Nontraditional Degree Programs, Research, Dissertation

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9780980217667: An Analysis of Faculty Perceptions of Nontraditional Degree Programs: Education, Nontraditional Degree Programs, Research, Dissertation

The most important factor that made this study significant is that it describes the impact on the institutions’ philosophy and their ability to change, survive, and thrive. The study examined prior experiences, educational ideologies, and perceptions of those faculty who educate the nontraditional (24 or older) student, how those experiences may have changed and created new norms, values, and psychosocial interactions among others within their environment. Employing the Community College Student Experiences Questionnaire (CCSEQ) instrument as a reference and Andrew Halpin's 1963 pioneering work of mapping the domain of the organizational climate of schools, a 42-item instrument was developed. The instrument, a self-administered survey, measuring characteristic differences formed from faculty experiences with nontraditional degree programs, was mailed to 207 participants of whom 129 responded. This resulted in a 62.3 response rate. Variables included experience with students, other faculty, chairpersons, and institutional values and norms, policies and procedures. The data indicated that faculty perceptions of their experiences were positive. The results of the study reiterate other data in the literature, which indicated a strong attainment by nontraditional students in the programs studied. Among all faculty members surveyed, there was a slightly higher than average sense of accomplishment working with the program and the students. However, for faculty in both rural and urban areas, there were positive correlates between the two variables --perception of their experiences and of the quality of the degree. In total, the data indicated an overall positive perception. Alternately, results contradicted the investigator’s bias, which had posited a negative response in perceived quality of the degree. I think it is important to note that after the completion of this analysis in 2006 all of the programs have changed their names and most have changed their curriculum to fit the status quo, which was identified in the study.

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