June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
Continuing Professional Development
23.1276.1 - 23.1276.9
Undergraduate GPA as a Critical Success Factor in Evaluating Professional Working Adult Learner Admissions AcceptabilityMost colleges and universities, especially Tier 1 research universities, frequently useundergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA) and the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) as keycriteria for acceptance of students into Masters’ level education programs. While GPA and GREare relevant as critical success factors relative to traditional students, the applicability of thesecriteria alone becomes skewed when considering potential applicants who are workingprofessional adult learners. Working professional adult learners have additional criteria that maymore accurately predict their educational success than the historical undergraduate GPA or GRE.Undergraduate GPA and GRE scores, as admissions criteria, become further clouded by ourdesire as an academic unit to maintain high standards for admission.Other factors contributing to working professional adult learners include, but are not limited to,years since last degree, undergraduate field of study, reasons for undergraduate GPA (if low),GPA of classes taken more recently (post-undergraduate), GPA in the first two years versus thelast two years, demonstrated application of undergraduate assimilated knowledge throughsuccessfully greater career opportunities, recommendations from supervisors and third partiesand the potential students statement of purpose. In the final analysis, it is a judgment decision onmaturity, based on a collection of factors that support an informed decision on the potentialsuccess of an applicant. These many career oriented factors are typically not available whenassessing the Master’s applicant who has just completed their undergraduate degree.This paper shares the quantitative results of a longitudinal study of nearly 400 workingprofessional adult learners, from business and industry, who graduated from ______ University’s______ ___ ____________ _______ __ __________ ___ _______ ________ (_______)programs. This cohort-based set of programs employs a hybrid classroom and distance-supported, innovatively-delivered graduate degree (MS) in technology.This paper explores follow-on considerations in balancing and managing the potential forlowering an academic unit’s overall admissions GPA against weighting undergraduate GPAdifferently for incoming working professional adult learners.
Springer, M. L., & Schuver, M. T. (2013, June), Undergraduate GPA as a Critical Success Factor in Evaluating Professional Working Adult Learner Admissions Acceptability Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/22661
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