Measuring reported learning from supervised practice experiences of graduates of master’s programs in student affairs
Young, Dallin George
MetadataShow full item record
The purpose of this study was to further the understanding of the learning that takes place in supervised practice experiences of students in student affairs preparation programs. Specifically, the study sought to define and measure the reported learning of graduates from student affairs preparation programs based on the Supervised Practice area of the standards outlined by the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) for the curriculum of master’s level programs in student affairs. Responses were gathered from 245 graduates who reported graduating between 2006 and 2011 from 15 master’s programs in student affairs and higher education administration. These participants represented 19.77% of potential respondents. Graduates responded to a 93 item instrument designed to measure learning outcomes from supervised practice experiences and perceived preparation for professional practice. The study describes the creation of the CAS Supervised Practice Outcomes Instrument and presents statistics measuring its psychometric properties including reliability and factor analyses. Graduates from master’s programs reported moderate to high levels of agreement with all learning outcomes associated with supervised practice experiences. An exploratory factor analysis identified 12 factors which were used to create scales with reliability measures ranging between .67 and .97 for the scales. Graduates also rated high levels of agreement with statements regarding their preparation for professional practice. These items were used to create the Preparation for Professional Practice scale. Two multiple regression analyses were conducted to identify learning outcomes and areas of learning in supervised practice experiences that were potential predictors of the Preparation for Professional Practice scale. Leadership, Career Preparation, and Application of Theory scales were identified as significant predictors that accounted for 42.2% of variability in the professional preparation scale. The second model included nine outcomes represented by items on the instrument that were significant predictors that accounted for 52.9% of the total variability in the Preparation for Professional Practice scale. Results indicate that supervised practice experiences are an important part of the preparation of master’s students in student affairs preparation programs. Recommendations for practice, curriculum development, and further research are presented.