Proprietary postsecondary education : an examination of how perceptions of higher education writers at daily newspapers affect coverage

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dc.contributor.advisor Sharpe, Melvin L. en_US Robinson, Suzanne B. en_US
dc.coverage.spatial n-us--- en_US 2011-06-03T19:37:57Z 2011-06-03T19:37:57Z 1997 en_US 1997
dc.identifier LD2489.Z72 1997 .R63 en_US
dc.description.abstract Higher education is one of the most expensive services an individual will ever purchase, yet many question whether enough information is available to higher education consumers to make informed decisions. The objective of this study was to determine the degree of personal experience higher education writers at selected major daily newspapers have with for-profit colleges and how those experiences affect the perceptions they have of the colleges. The second objective of the research focused on how much coverage for-profit colleges receive based on workforce projections, compared to traditional colleges.The study tested two hypsothees:1. Higher education staff writers at the selected major daily newspapers have little personal experience with for-profit, degree-granting colleges, compared to traditional colleges, resulting in neutral-to-negative perceptions.2. Despite predictions that a high percentage of jobs will require an education beyond high school but not necessarily a traditional four-year college degree, for-profit colleges receive less coverage than traditional colleges in the selected major daily newspapers.A five-page questionnaire was mailed to the person covering higher education at the major daily newspaper in mature ITT Technical Institute markets. Questions related to the amount of personal contact the journalists have with proprietary colleges and the perceptions they hold of these colleges as well as what they believe their readers' higher education needs are. Writers were also asked to indicate their agreement with several workforce projections and to report how many articles on specific topics were published in the last year. The study received a 54 percent response rate.The respondents were sorted twice, based on their personal contact and then based on their perceptions. Overall, respondents had about half as much contact with proprietary colleges as they did with traditional colleges in the past year, supporting the first part of Hypothesis 1. However, the largest percentage of respondents had some contact with proprietary colleges, resulting in positive-toneutral perceptions, disproving the first hypothesis overall. Delving further into the issue indicated that the more personal contact a journalist had with proprietary colleges, the more positive his or her perceptions of them were.The second hypothesis was supported however, in that traditional public colleges were contacted as sources for articles more than for-profit colleges by a margin of 77 percent to 23 percent. Non-profit traditional colleges were contacted more by a margin of 49 percent to 23 percent.Further analysis found that the more contact a writer had with a proprietary college, the more positive his or her perception of this sector was and the more coverage for-profit colleges received.
dc.description.sponsorship Department of Journalism
dc.format.extent iv, 88 leaves : 1 map ; 28 cm. en_US
dc.source Virtual Press en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Universities and colleges -- United States -- Public opinion. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Press -- Attitudes. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Journalism -- Objectivity. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Reporters and reporting. en_US
dc.title Proprietary postsecondary education : an examination of how perceptions of higher education writers at daily newspapers affect coverage en_US Thesis (M.A.)
dc.identifier.cardcat-url en_US

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  • Master's Theses [5510]
    Master's theses submitted to the Graduate School by Ball State University master's degree candidates in partial fulfillment of degree requirements.

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