Dwindling Graduate Student Enrollments in Distance-Based Programs: A Researched-Based Exploration with Underlying Findings and Premise

Mitchell Springer, Mark Schuver
2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings   unpublished
Institute located in West Lafayette, Indiana. He has over 35 years of theoretical and Defense 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 contributed to scholarship more than 200 books, articles, presentations, editorials and reviews on software
more » ... reviews on software development methodologies, management, organizational change, and program management. Dr. Springer sits on many university and community boards and advisory committees. He is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, Abstract At the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), Conference for Industry & Education Collaboration (CIEC) 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida, the Special Interest Group on Administration (SIG-Admin) focused on individual college/university experiences of dwindling enrollments in graduate distance programs. Based on recent research, this paper focuses on the quantitative realities of this perception and the numerous multi-faceted complexities contributing to the underlying premise of the suggestion. The paper reviews the numerical basis for this concern, as well as looks at the many peripheral and cumulative factors contributing to the concern. This paper focuses on the current trends in declining on-campus enrollments and the offset increase in distance-based enrollments. From the perspective of declining tuition-based on-campus higher education enrollments, this paper will share insights into contributing population demographics, the rationale behind declining numbers of high school graduates, student preferences for staying close to home, and, the challenges of current and future learners. From the perspective of increasing distance-based enrollments, this paper will focus on the contributing factors of distance trend enrollments nationally and by region, by type of institution; public, private non-profit and private for-profit, and by sector of institution. The paper also draws from longitudinal data of the top 50 distance providers. Overall, this paper focuses on the many perceived separate, yet highly related, contributing factors to higher education enrollments, both on-campus and at a distance. While it is recognized these may not be representative of the entirety of those factors contributing to perceived distance dwindling enrollments, the contributing data that follows certainly appears, inductively, to be part of the underlying basis of the discussion. Educational Attainment Relative to education and fertility, the more educated a woman becomes, the less children, on average, she has [12, pg. 12].  U.S. average 1.93  College graduate = 1.78  Women with a graduate degree = 1.61
doi:10.18260/1-2--30346 fatcat:7p7cludv2ffwjhspjtymogzeca