Adult education doctoral graduates and faculty judgments about the professional utility of courses and major concepts of their doctoral programs to meet employment-related needs

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Lawrence, Lisa E.
McElhinney, James H.
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Thesis (D. Ed.)
Center for Lifelong Education
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The purpose of the study was (1) to learn how graduates of doctoral programs evaluate the courses and major concepts of their doctoral programs In adult education in terms of how the courses and concepts contribute importantly to the employment related needs of the graduates, their employing organizations and the society, (2) to learn how faculty in adult education doctoral programs evaluate the courses and concepts of their programs, and how well these courses and concepts help the graduates meet employment related Individual and societal needs, (3) to establish the amounts of agreement between the Judgments of faculty and graduates, and (4) to learn what these two groups Judge should be the employment facilitating content of doctoral programs In adult education In the next five to ten years.The populations for the study were drawn from twenty-one universities across the United states of America. The administrator from each adult education program in the university contacted was asked to submit the names and addresses of three faculty and six alumni.Two questionnaires, one for alumni and the other for faculty were mailed to the faculty and alumni whose names were received. One hundred and thirty two questionnaires were sent to alumni and sixty five questionnaires were sent to faculty. Ninety two responses were received from alumni or approximately seventy percent. Fifty four responses were received from faculty or eighty-three percent.Data from the questionnaires were tabulated, analyzed, summarized and reported In table and narrative form. The findings and conclusions were that, in the judgments of graduates and faculty:1) Doctoral programs In adult education were effective In that they made important contributions in preparing graduates to succeed as professionals In programs that educate or reeducate adults.2) Courses completed in doctoral programs In adult education prepared graduates to meet the expectations of Prospective employers.3) Modifications should be made to adult education programs i n the 1990s to Include:a) Practical application experience or “externship”In the graduates' chosen field of employment after they have completed their doctoral program.b) The teaching of greater communication skills, both written and oral.c) Academic tracks which allow all graduates to select courses geared to their career goals.