A Multivariate Study of Graduate Student Satisfaction and Other Outcomes Within Cooperative Research Centers

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Title: A Multivariate Study of Graduate Student Satisfaction and Other Outcomes Within Cooperative Research Centers
Author: Schneider, Jennifer Shields
Advisors: Robert Serow, Committee Member
Denis Gray, Committee Chair
Lori Foster Thompson, Committee Member
Abstract: Graduate students who participate in Cooperative Research Centers are perceived as having educational advantages such as interactions with industry members, career opportunities, increased scholarly production, and development of soft skills (teamwork, communication, leadership). However, these educational advantages are mostly speculative assumptions. Evaluation of Cooperative Research Centers occurs regularly on several components of the program; yet, there is a lack of information and analysis concerning graduate students involved with the centers. Consequently, center programs are missing opportunities to enhance their educational outcomes. A cross-sectional predictive analysis was conducted to identify which individual center mechanisms positively or negatively influence graduate student outcomes. Data was collected from graduate students (n=190, 37% useable response rate) working in National Science Foundation's I⁄UCRC and STC programs (34 centers, 87% response rate) via a web-based questionnaire. Student outcomes include satisfaction, perceived skills, organizational commitment, scholarly achievements, career goals, and feelings of a competitive advantage. Results indicate that consistent and powerful predictive variables include: Multidisciplinary Center Experience, Experiential Expanded Center Experiences, Technical Project Involvement, and frequency of interactions with thesis/dissertation committee and Center industry members. Another major finding of the study was that students' center experiences predict outcomes but center groupings do not.
Date: 2007-04-24
Degree: MS
Discipline: Psychology
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/52

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