EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Between Summer, 1992 and Spring, 1993, 403 Masters degrees were awarded at Western. The first survey of Masters recipients by the Office of Institutional Assessment and Testing, conducted in Spring, 1994, contacted 290 (72.9%) of them. The majority of Western's Masters recipients (58.6%) are women. One in six (18.1%) are not U.S. citizens; fewer (5.8%) are U.S. minority group members. Ages are diverse. The oldest was 63 at graduation; the youngest, 23. One-fourth (28.9%) were over 40. Over half (57.1%) received their undergraduate training in Washington, 28.9% at Western. The average ORE scores were 507 on the Verbal, 524 on the Quantitative, and 536 on the Analytic. Nearly half (46.8%) of Western's 1993 Masters degrees were granted in education, with just over half of those prepared as teachers. Two-fifths were spread across fourteen departments in the College of Arts and Sciences, with the largest programs in Speech Pathology and Audiology (8.5%), Psychology (4.7%) and English (4.0%). The College of Business and Economics also contributed 7.5%, the College of Fine and Performing Arts 4.7%, and Huxley College 1.2%. About 19.0% of all Masters degree recipients in the class of '93 took all or most of their course work for the Masters degree off campus. Nearly all these took teaching degrees. A surprising proportion of Masters degrees (47.8%) were awarded in fields other than the field of the student's undergraduate degree. In part this is because of the large proportion of education majors. The average Masters recipient accumulated 69.9 credits of graduate work (with a median value of 61 credits) plus an average of 6.7 undergraduate credits. About one-fifth graduated with 50 credits or fewer and one-sixth with more than 91 graduate credits. Most of those with very high credit levels were education majors who received teacher certification. On average, those graduates accumulated 51.1 more credits than others (115.0 vs. 63.9). The total time Masters students required to complete their degrees is also varied. The longest Masters career began in 1982 eleven years before the 1993 graduation. More than nine-tenths (92.6%) completed within five years, however, and 59.3% completed within two years. Many of Western's Masters students report very demanding schedules. The average number of credits completed per quarter is 8.4. The average weekly hours of homework generated by those credits is 25. Nearly one-third (20.3%) worked as Teaching Assistants (TAs) and 5.8% on work study at least one quarter. In addition, 70.0% worked for pay (not including TA, RA, or work study). A remarkable 30.6% report doing full-time non-TA work throughout their Masters program. A majority of those employed full-time were off-campus Education majors. Reported homework time per credit is as high among those working full-time as among others, except that off-campus Education majors report significantly lower homework levels. Over half (52.8%) completed the degree with no educational debt. On the other hand, 19.9% owed more than $10,000.
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Subjects - Topical (LCSH)
College graduates--Washington (State)--Statistics; Master of arts degree--Washington (State)--Statistics; Professional education--Washington (State)--Statistics
Subjects - Names (LCNAF)
Western Washington University--Students--Statistics
Title of Series
Technical and research reports (Western Washington University. Office of Institutional Assessment and Testing) ; 1994-08
Simpson, Carl; Clark, Linda D. (Linda Darlene); McKinney, Gary (Gary Russell); and Trimble, Joseph E., "The Masters Degree Program at Western A Follow-up Survey of the Masters Class of 1993" (1994). Office of Survey Research. 371.