Comparing the NPS MBA resident and distance learning programs
Rosenthal, Mara F.
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Distance learning (DL) instructional modes are of interest to the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) as the school provides access to graduate education for officers posted at remote duty stations. However, studies report mixed academic achievement for general DL versus resident students, with similarly mixed findings for students pursuing Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees. Two 2016 studies evaluating NPS programs overall report lower completion rates for DL versus resident students. This MBA project was conducted to help find similarities and/or differences in four evaluation areas: entry requirement Academic Profile Codes (APC), grade point averages (GPA), graduation status, and student survey responses on perceptions of program experience. Data analyses were performed without controlling for student, course, or program-specific factors to suggest general areas for a more in-depth study. Project findings show little or no between-group differences in GPA, but DL MBA students were less likely to graduate than resident peers, who also had greater success in most math-intensive courses. These findings may support further studies of factors that may affect student success within DL versus resident programs.
MBA Professional Report
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