Volume 36 - Number 2 - 1995 | DOI: 10.5032/jae.1995.02001

 

Abstract:

Off-campus degree programs are becoming more prevalent as universities recognize the need to extend educational opportunities beyond the campus. Students who enroll in off-campus programs differ from traditional college students and face a number of unique challenges in pursuit of their degrees. This study describes selected experiences of former agricultural distant learners with an off-campus agriculture degree program and describes  graduates' perceptions regarding selected obstacles to off-campus study. Results of the study indicate that graduates were motivated to enroll in the off-campus program primarily to pursue a degree, took an average of five years to complete the program, and traveled to campus 20 or fewer times for reasons related to the off-campus program. Graduates of the program indicated that the most significant obstacles to off-campus study included limited course offerings, difficulty in balancing responsibilities, access to library facilities, and program costs. It was recommended that more agricultural courses be offered through distance education technologies to facilitate timely completion of the degree program. Also, it was recommended that partnerships be established to allow off-campus students to complete laboratory activities and obtain academic assistance from individuals or institutions in their local communities.

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