This longitudinal study sought to identify trends in learner characteristics and program-related experiences in a distance-delivered Master of Professional Agriculture degree program. Between 2001 and 2009, notable progress had been made to lessen the significance of obstacles faced by off-campus graduate students. The average amount of time taken to complete the master’s degree program decreased from 74.46 months for graduates surveyed in 2001 to 55.85 months for graduates surveyed in 2009. A majority of graduates surveyed in 2001 perceived three obstacles to be slightly significant to significant: “limited number of courses offered,” “difficulty in balancing school, personal, and work responsibilities,” and “cost of the program.” However, a majority of graduates surveyed in 2009 perceived only two obstacles to be slightly significant to significant: “difficulty in balancing school, personal, and work responsibilities” and “attending sessions held on campus.” Though there is still room for improvement relative to dealing with obstacles to off-campus study, efforts to improve distance learning in the College of Agriculture and
Life Sciences at Iowa University have had a positive impact on graduates.
Master of Professional Agriculture distance degree program, off campus graduate students