Evaluation of the master's degree and program in the School of Commerce at Montana State University by master's alumni and graduate students

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Professional Schools


The purposes of the research project were to attempt to determine the employment utility of a master's degree obtained through the School of Commerce at Montana State University; to evaluate the curriculum in the School of Commerce in search of additions and improvements; and to evaluate the organization and administration of the graduate program in the School of Commerce. Data were collected by mailing questionnaires to 59 alumni who had received master's degrees between June 1966 and August 1971, and hand-delivering questionnaires to ten graduate students who were currently enrolled in the School of Commerce during March 1972. Forty three questionnaires were returned. Alumni respondents had pursued occupations in the general fields of education, general business, and technology. Fourteen respondents felt that their possession of master's degrees had aided them in obtaining employment; seven respondents felt that their master's degrees had given them difficulty in obtaining employment. Twenty two respondents felt that the knowledge they gained while studying for their master's degrees was beneficial to them during the initial adjustment periods of their employment. Twenty five respondents felt that their gained knowledge was beneficial throughout their employment. The master's degree had enhanced the advancement opportunities of twenty two respondents. Twenty four respondents believed that their master's degrees were responsible for increased salary levels. Five of the forty three respondents expressed dissatisfaction with the standards and procedures for admission to graduate school. Four of the five felt that the Graduate Record Examination should not be required. Respondents were nearly equally divided on whether certification should be a prerequisite for a master's in Business Education. Four respondents suggested that the School offer an MBA, possibly coordinated with the University of Montana. Three respondents felt that too much "red tape" was involved with the graduate program. A majority of respondents felt that individual graduate programs should emphasize business subjects rather than education subjects. Many respondents were dissatisfied with the amount of guidance they had received from their graduate committees. Twenty two respondents preferred a comprehensive exam consisting of a combination of oral and written tests. It is recommended that: guidance activities for graduate students be examined; the administration of the graduate program be reviewed for possible simplification, and; the School of Commerce examine the possible use of the combination form of comprehensive exam.




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