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A Different Model In Graduate Education For Full Time Professionals

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.19.1 - 5.19.5



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Paper Authors

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Kathryne A. Newton

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Duane D. Dunlap

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Dennis R. Depew

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

A Different Model in Graduate Education For Full-Time Professionals

Dennis R. Depew, Duane D. Dunlap and Kathryne Newton Purdue University

The School of Technology at Purdue University in 1998 began delivering a Weekend Master’s Degree Program in Technology aimed at serving working professionals who live all over the Midwest. This program is designed to meet the growing demand for advanced education in technology by taking advantage of the readily accessible technology that now makes distance education possible. The program is a unique interdisciplinary curriculum designed for professionals in a wide variety of industrial and business environments. The curriculum combines courses from manufacturing technology, information technology, and industrial distribution, and requires the completion of a “directed project” that is much like a master’s thesis, except that students are expected to tackle an applied problem from their own work environment.

The Weekend Master’s Program does not rely solely on distance media for the delivery of instruction, but rather depends on a combination of approximately 55% face-to-face instruction and 45% distance delivered instruction. To have real-time intellectual graduate education discussion, stimulation, and physical resource sharing, our graduate education instruction received at a distance is best complemented and supported with face-to-face interaction with peers and faculty during three “weekend” sessions on campus. Students are able to optimize their time by the use of technology to learn the bulk of the course content, but are then able to build their expertise in higher-level experiences provided by social interaction and feedback during case studies, project presentations, and other in-class exercises.

Graduate Education in Technology

Technology and engineering technology programs continue to change and evolve in striving to meet society’s technological expectations and needs. It is imperative that graduate education be considered as an important element. A survey study conducted at Purdue University reported that 92% of the alumni and faculty indicated that graduate education in technology is important for the professional development of individuals working in industry and that there exists a perceived demand for graduate education in technology and engineering technology1. Although this study surveyed only faculty and alumni of Purdue University, and generalizing these findings to a broader level would be inappropriate from a true research point of view, the fact remains that graduate education for technologists is an important issue that must be addressed.

As more individuals graduating from technology-related programs enter the work force, the need for graduate education appropriate for their future professional development will become an important priority in remaining competitive in the international marketplace. In addition to providing advanced studies for individuals in industry, furnishing graduate education for the future professors of technology at the two-and four-year college levels will also become critical in delivering high- quality education for future generations of technologists.

Newton, K. A., & Dunlap, D. D., & Depew, D. R. (2000, June), A Different Model In Graduate Education For Full Time Professionals Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8308

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