Asee peer logo

Undergraduate GPA as a Critical Success Factor in Evaluating Professional Working Adult Learner Admissions Acceptability

Download Paper |


2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Faculty and Course Evolution: Teaching With Technology, Online Delivery, and Addressing Emerging Student & Industry Needs

Tagged Division

Continuing Professional Development

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.1276.1 - 23.1276.9



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Mitchell L Springer PMP, SPHR, SHRM-SCP Purdue University, West Lafayette

visit author page

Dr. Springer currently serves in a dual capacity as the Purdue University, College of Technology, Executive Director for College of Technology Operations and Strategic Initiatives, and, the Academic Center for Professional Studies in Technology and Applied Research (ProSTAR), located in West Lafayette, Indiana. He possesses over 30 years of theoretical and industry-based practical experience from four disciplines: Software Engineering, Systems Engineering, Program Management and Human Resources. Dr. Springer possesses a significant strength in pattern recognition, analyzing and improving organizational systems. He is internationally recognized, has authored numerous books and articles, and lectured on software development methodologies, management and organizational practices, and program management. Dr. Springer sits on many university and community boards and advisory committees. Dr. Springer received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Purdue University, his MBA 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).

visit author page


Mark T Schuver Purdue University, West Lafayette

visit author page

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, Indiana. 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, Mark 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 Degree in Drafting Technology from North Iowa Area Community College (1967), a BS in Business Administration (1990) and MS in Management (1992) from Indiana Wesleyan University.

Mark 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. Mark 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).

visit author page

Download Paper |


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. 10.18260/1-2--22661

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: © 2013 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