BECKY COPPER DIRECTOR OF DISTRIBUTED LEARNING, MINNESOTA STATE UNIVERSITY, MANKATO

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1 Non-Traditional Women and Graduate Students: Enrollment Trends and Challenges Related to the Collection of National Data and Measures of Accountability BECKY COPPER DIRECTOR OF DISTRIBUTED LEARNING, MINNESOTA STATE UNIVERSITY, MANKATO

2 Presentation Overview Enrollment trends in graduate education Growth of non-trads/women in grad programs Barriers to data gathering and the social impact Review best practices

3 Enrollment Trends in Graduate Education Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) Report (97-07)- Private universities have seen the largest increase in the number of masters and doctoral degrees granted Council of Graduate Studies Report (09) Private for-profit universities represent the highest growth among graduate enrollments Graduate enrollment had been steady at about 1.3 million in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but rose about 59 percent between 1985 and 2005 NCES) Increased demand in the professional labor market (Education, Social Work, Medical and Science related fields) 2009 report (Jaschik) traditional graduate programs are shrinking due to loss of funding for tuition waivers

4 Women and Graduate Education U.S. Department of Education s National Center for Education Statistics (2008) Increase of women enrolled in doctoral programs Increase of women earning doctoral and masters degrees in all fields except Engineering and the Sciences NCES describes: Master s programs as showing the highest rates of growth, enroll a majority of women, report part-time enrollment majority

5 Why Focus on Women? Women represent the majority of graduate students across all education, humanities and social science fields (NCES) education, humanities and social sciences are growing graduate programs among for-profits and privates For-profits have a higher price point and higher percentage of financial aid debt among students History of gender discrimination in higher education and in the workplace U.S. Census Bureau Women continue to earn less than men -Women with advanced degrees earn less than men with the same degree in most fields Economic shifts have excelled the shift of family dynamics for women Traditional graduate programs limit enrollment and often do provide flexible options but provide financial resources and training opportunities for students

6 Data Gaps National Science Foundation (Survey of Earned Doctorates ), the National Research Council (Surveys of Graduate Education) Do not include for-profit based graduate programs in their national reports on graduate education Data is used to inform: Academic Researchers Chronicle of Higher Education Reports/ Other Media Agencies Government reports/ impacting grants and other financial decisions

7 Data Gaps NCES- Separating Private For-Profit and Non-Profit data Lack of academic research Higher Ed Discussions Often limited to public 4yr or 2 yr undergrad institutions with tenure track systems Lack of consistent definitions across institutions Research based doctorates Professional graduate degrees Retention Traditional/Nontraditional

8 Missing Data on Graduate Outcomes Limited information on what happens a graduate degree is achieved Council of Graduate Studies Ph.D. 5 Years Out and Ph.D. 10 Years out (CIRGE reports) Research is limited to: Whether or not graduates are employed Amount of salary achieved Whether or not graduates have achieved tenure

9 Why is data important? NCES (2008)-43.7% of women enrolled in graduate programs at for-profit universities received 25,000-46,199 in financial aid compared to 21,7% of women at Public institutions Burke (2005) Accountability in higher h education is linked to the effective evaluation of outcomes. The mission of higher education needs public support, which depends on systems of accountability Accountability depends on collection and analyzing data for effective decision making

10 Best Practices Connecting graduate programs to labor market needs Creating life-long relationships with alumni consistent and ongoing outcome assessment Assess using a variety of criteria Industries and positions in which graduates are employed How graduates feel their education prepared them Areas in which graduates would recommend further training Research conducted by the graduate Amount of autonomy on the job Job satisfaction Satisfaction in how their degree has impacted their life Opportunities for advancement Qualitative research perceptions of outcomes Utilize the assessment data for driving change and improvement

11 Resources Sloan Consortium Council of Graduate Studies CIRGE Women in Higher Education National Association of Graduate-Professional Students

12 Serving this demographic Principles of Universal Design for Services Flexible schedules (8 week courses, one night a week, some flexibility with assignments) Use of technology online courses or blended options Assistance with navigating registration, course planning, budgeting and policies and procedures Assistance with job planning Internships, hands-on experience, connecting students to the industry Family oriented events and support networks for working parents (Peer networks and institutional networks) Faculty who understand the needs of working adults Life-long learning opportunities Life-long relationships with alumni Curriculum that relates to adult learning theories

13 Questions for Discussion What are the top 3-5 issues at your institution related to graduate enrollment? What do you feel the long-term impact will be related to the increase in the number of graduate degrees granted by private colleges and universities? Why are the national agencies that are responsible to measuring graduate outcomes resistant to including degrees from for-profits? What additional financial resources can we provide for graduate education? Research based vs Practitioner based? Shouldn t we track both?

14 Contact Info Becky Copper Director of Distributed Learning Minnesota State University, Mankato

15 References Women in Higher Ed. Flyod, C. (2007). You re your competitor: Impact of for-profit colleges on the higher education landscape. New Directions in Higher Education, 140, Retrieved June 16, 2009, from the EBSCO database. Glazer-Raymo, J. (1999). Shattering the myth. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. Jaschik, S. (2009). Top Ph.D. programs shrinking. Inside Higher Education. Retrieved May 13, 2009, from set/print/news/2009/05/13/doctoral Krefting, L. (2003). Intertwined discourses of merit and gender: Evidence from academic employment in the USA. Gender, Work and Organization, 10(2), Retrieved March 30, 2009, from ERIC database. Morrison, E., Nerad, M., Picciano, J. & Rudd, E. (2008). Finally equal footing for women in social science careers? Center for Innovation and Research in Graduate Education. Retrieved from washington edu National Science Foundation. (2009). Survey of earned doctorates. Retrieved October 1, 2009, from Redd, K. (2007). Datasources: The rise of the older graduate students. Council of Graduate Schools. Retrieved January 8, 2010, from Ropers-Huilman, B. (2003). Gendered futures in higher education. Albany, NY: State University of New York. U.S. Department of Education. (2009). Graduate and first professional fields of study. Retrieved June 16, 2009, from U.S. Department of Education. (2009). Trends in non-traditional student enrollment. Retrieved September 23, 2009, from Valian, V. (1998). Why so slow? The advancement of women. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

16 References: Data Driven Decisions in Higher Ed. Banta, T. (2007). Can assessment for accountability complement assessment for improvement? Peer Review, 9(2) Retrieved June 15, 2008 from EBSCO database. Burke, J. (2005). Achieving accountability in higher education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Currie, J. & Huisman, J. (2004). Accountability in higher education: bridge over troubled water? Higher Education. 48, Retrieved June 14, 2008 from EBSCO database. Esty, D. & Rushing, R. (2007). The promise of data-driven policymaking. Issues In Science and Technology, Retrieved June 18, 2008 from EBSCO database. Fraenkel, J.R., & Wallen, N.E. (2006). How to design and evaluate research in education (6th ed.). New York: McGraw- Hill. Gardner, D. (1977). Five evaluation frameworks: implications for decision making in higher education. The Journal of Higher Education, 48(5), Retrieved, June 13, 2008 from JSTOR database. Hamilton, L., Marsh, J. & Pane, J. (2006). Making sense of data-driven decision making in education. Rand Education. Retrieved July 14, 2008 from Klein, S. & Tolbert, M. (2007). Correctional education: Getting the data we need. The Journal of Correctional Education, 58(3) Retrieved June 18, 2008 from EBSCO database. Kotter, J. (1996). Leading change. Boston: Harvard Business School Press. McCaw, D. & Watkins, S. (2008). Accountability for results. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield Education. Nutt, P. (1998). How decision makers evaluate alternatives and the influence of complexity. Management Science, 44 (8), Retrieved June 14, 2008 from EBSCO database

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