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Assessing the Economic Impact on Academic Credentials of Incoming Working Professional Students

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Exploration of Trends in Engineering Education

Tagged Division

Graduate Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.218.1 - 25.218.10



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Paper Authors


Mitchell L. Springer PMP, SPHR Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Mitchel Springer is an Associate Professor in technology leadership and innovation and currently serves as the Director of the Purdue University College of Technology, Academic Center for Professional Studies in Technology and Applied Research (ProSTAR), located in West Lafayette, Ind. He possesses more than 30 years of theoretical and industry-based practical experience from four disciplines software engineering, systems engineering, program management, and human resources. He sits on many university and community boards and advisory committees. Springer is internationally recognized, has authored numerous books and articles, and lectured on software development methodologies, management practices and program management. Springer received his bachelor's of science in computer science from Purdue University, his M.B.A. and doctorate in adult and community education with a cognate in executive development from Ball State University. He is certified as both a Project Management Professional (PMP) and a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR).

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Michael J. Dyrenfurth Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Michael J. Dyrenfurth is a professor of industrial technology in the College of Technology at Purdue University. He is a member of the ASEE and he has served on the Board of the ETD and as Program Chair for the CIEC in New Orleans (2008). Previously, he completed a four year term as Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies in Purdue University’s College of Technology. He is Co-PI of two international EU-FIPSE funded grants. His scholarship agenda focuses on technological innovation, technological literacy, workforce development, and international dimensions of these fields. Increasingly, he has turned his attention to the assessment of technological capability and understanding. He received his Ph.D. from Bowling Green State University and his master's and bachelor’s degrees at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Immediately before coming to Purdue, he served as graduate coordinator for the Industrial Education and Technology Department at Iowa State University. Previously, for 20 years, he was on the faculty of the University of Missouri’s Department of Practical Arts and Vocational Technical Education in various professorial, coordinator, and leadership roles. Internationally, he has worked in Germany, South Africa, Poland, the USSR, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Ireland, Scotland, England, France, Czech and Slovak Republics, Finland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Taiwan. His early experience involved teaching in Alberta and at universities in North Dakota and New Jersey.

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Erin E. Bowen Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Erin Bowen's areas of expertise include human factors and performance in organizational technology integration, organizational system factors impacting high-technology organizations, and aviation psychology. She provides training and education in the application of advanced statistical and methodological techniques to organizational settings, particularly survey design and analysis, advanced confirmatory factor analysis, and structural equation modeling. Bowen holds a Ph.D. in industrial/organizational psychology and an advanced minor in research methodology and is a member of the Association for Aviation Psychology, the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, Applied Experimental and Engineering Psychology, the Society for Industrial & Organizational Psychology, and the American Psychological Association.

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Mark T. Schuver Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Mark Schuver is the Associate Director for the Center for Professional Studies in Technology and Applied Research (ProSTAR) in the College of Technology at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. He is responsible for the development and administration of the Weekend Master’s Degree programs, the Rolls-Royce Master’s Degree programs, and the growth of Professional Education programs in the College of Technology. Prior to joining Purdue in 2002, Schuver was employed by Caterpillar, Inc., for 35 years, with assignments in Product Design, Research and Development, Supplier Management, Quality Management, Logistics Management and various leadership positions. He holds an associate's degree in drafting technology from North Iowa Area Community College (1967), a B.S. in Business Administration (1990), and a M.S. in management (1992) from Indiana Wesleyan University. Schuver is a member of the American Society for Engineering Education and serves on the Executive Board of the Continuing Professional Development Division. He is also a member of College/Industry Partnerships, Engineering Technology and Graduate Studies Divisions of ASEE. Schuver is a member of the National Collaborative Task Force for Engineering Education Reform and is a Lifetime Certified Purchasing Manager with the Institute of Supply Management (formerly NAPM).

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Assessing the Economic Impact on Academic Credentials of Incoming Working Professional StudentsThis paper assesses the previous and current recessionary economic impact on the academiccredentials of incoming working professional students over the same recessionary periods.Since 1950 there have been eleven documented and agreed to U.S. economic recessions,including the current recession which began in 2008. Each recession lasted from approximatelysix months to a maximum of 18 months; the most recent and on-going 2008 recession has nowlasted 18 months. There are many predictions as to the length or severity this most recentrecession has had, and will continue to have on U.S. gross domestic product, employmentrecovery or other indicative economic characteristics.This paper will map the two most recent U.S. economic recessions to incoming professionalstudent demographics to determine if there are characteristics indicative of these difficulteconomic conditions. Incoming student demographics will be evaluated for breadth of companyparticipation, undergraduate GPA, gender, incoming chronological age, years of workexperience, State of residence, breadth of undergraduate major, breadth of job titles andgeographical distance from on-campus distance hybrid cohort-based programs.Often evaluations are reported based on one shot, post hoc assessments. This paper, howeverreports demographics results of a longitudinal follow-up study of nearly 300 business andindustrial professionals who graduated from ______ University’s College of __________ cohort-based distance hybrid weekend programs as well current 100% distance programs. Additionallyit interprets its findings in the light of a benchmark against a previously conducted (2002)evaluation of these same weekend cohort-based programs. Since the initial 1999 programofferings, there have been 19 unique offerings of the cohort-based distance hybrid programs,some with minor variation for company-specific interests in areas of concentration. Not allcohort-based programs were available for public enrollment. Some programs were createdspecifically for companies who wished to fund an entire cohort themselves and subsequentlymake basic underlying modifications for concentrations more applicable to their company.

Springer, M. L., & Dyrenfurth, M. J., & Bowen, E. E., & Schuver, M. T. (2012, June), Assessing the Economic Impact on Academic Credentials of Incoming Working Professional Students Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--20978

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2012 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015