The adult degree completion program among three selected historically black colleges and universities in the United States

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Virginia Tech


The purpose of this study was to determine the perceived professional and self-developmental impact of a nontraditional baccalaureate degree program. Data were collected through self-reports of graduates from three predominantly black colleges in the United States. Surveys were mailed to a total of 272 May, 1991 through May, 1994 graduates in Organizational Management from Edward Waters College, Jacksonville, Florida; Saint Paul's College, Lawrenceville, Virginia; and Wilberforce University, Wilberforce, Ohio. Data analyses were based on the total number of 170 returns.

The data analyses included frequencies, means, percentages, and cross-tabs for demographics, and also information on enrollment, current employment, graduate school, and assessment of program experiences. Chi-square tests were performed to show the relationships between participants' responses to inquiries by race and gender.

The findings of this study revealed that in addition to meeting the needs of students to help them obtain their degrees, the contract Adult Degree Completion Program has been instrumental in helping students to achieve their goals for improving their professional and personal life situations. Overall, it was found that the program presented a major challenge to all students, but the significant findings of the research indicated that some students enjoyed a higher degree of success in their experiences with the program than others. This research suggested that blacks were more apt to change careers upon program completion than other groups; black females were the primary beneficiaries of the portfolio project, and males received a greater level of monetary support from employers than their female counterparts.



adult degree program, nontraditional study, adult education, degree completion program