Traditional Versus Non-Traditional Graduate Students Custom Essay

Sample Paper

The new reality of higher education contains a fundamental shift in student demographics. More non-traditional students are seeking educational opportunities and traditional students are seeking out and expecting alternative modes of curriculum delivery. Students, especially older, non-traditional ones seek course delivery through distance education formats such as online or videoconferencing that meet the needs of their lifestyle that includes career, family and other responsibilities. As a result, Universities are moving to meet the needs of this growing contingency of new atypical student populations.
Increasing demand and falling university revenues are also helping to drive interest in off-campus program delivery. While not a new phenomenon, distance education offerings are on the rise at universities across the country. Graduate programs are no exception to this growing demand, especially programs that offer specific career development such as Master of Public Administration (MPA) and Public Affairs programs. In fact, over 22% of 4-year institutions report offering distance education courses at the graduate level (National Center for Education Statistics, 2003) and there has been a 14% increase during the last 10 years in MPA programs that include some component of distance education (Rahm, Reed and Rydl, 1999). As bachelor’s degrees become the new high school diploma, many mid-career professionals find themselves interested in, or in need of, additional credentials. MPA programs, once the domain of traditional pre-service students fresh out of their undergraduate experience and seeking to start to a career in public service, are now finding themselves in classrooms inundated by mid-career, non-traditional students. Practitioners pursuing continuing education are not usually well accommodated by traditional delivery methods such as residential programs because they are typically “site bound” often the result of career and family obligations. As colleges and universities continue to expand their offerings via distance education, this influx of nontraditional students is likely to continue (Skopek & Schuhmann, 2008).

Assignment Prompts
Propose question whether students who attend graduate school right after college have better academic success than a student who takes time off and starts at a later age.
The independent variable would be the ages (which can be broken down, ex. 21-25, 26-30, 31-35 etc.) and the dependent variable would be the grades.
For the the sample size, include students from all KSA universities.
Method of collection will be done through survey.
Structure the proposal as follow:
Context/Reasons for the Study:
What research question(s) will you attempt to answer?
What hypotheses do you hope to test? (If applicable)
Why are the questions important? Why will your study be significant?
Briefly discuss the existing literature on your topic using an ?annotated bibliography? format.
What theory or conceptual framework will support your research?
What gap(s) exist in the literature that may be filled by conducting this research?
What is your population? What is your sampling method? What sample size do you estimate your study will require?
How will you collect your data?
What are the salient variables (independent and dependent)?
How will you define or operationalize the variables in your study?
How will you analyze the data you collect?
How will you test your hypotheses? What statistical methods will you need to incorporate into your methodology?

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