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2004-2005 Faculty Research Fellows

Dr. Vanessa D. Johnson
Assistant Professor and Director

Bouve College Student Development & Counseling Progr.
Northeastern University
203 Lake Hall
v.johnson@neu.edu
617-373-3276

Assessing the Differences in the Perceptions of Full-Time and Part-Time Graduate Students of their Practice-Oriented Educational Experiences in the College Student Development and Counseling Program


Vanessa’s research project is derived from her experience as director of the College Student Development and Counseling (CSDC) program. The program prepares its graduate students for careers in student affairs administration with an emphasis on student development and its diverse applications. Students in the program gain experiential knowledge of the practice of student affairs administration through a year-long practicum experience. The practicum consists of two consecutive courses taken in Fall and Spring semesters, and 300 hours (150 hours per semester) of practice-oriented education (POE). The course component of the practicum experience meets weekly and is conducted by student affairs professionals. The practicum experiences take place at Northeastern University and on other college and university campuses in the Boston area. Students hold practicum in the areas of admissions, residence hall administration, financial aids, international student services, coop services, student athlete support, and many other areas of student affairs.

The program currently has about forty full-time and part-time students. About one-third of these students is enrolled part-time and usually holds full-time employment while pursuing their degrees. These students are challenged the most to find practicum experiences that fit their time constraints. Therefore, they at times are relegated to finding practicum experiences that best fit their schedules more so than their career interests. Because students in the CSDC program cannot utilize their current work experience or graduate assistantships as a practicum experience, they are challenged to find practicum experiences that take place in the evenings, on weekends, or their supervisors (when they work in a collegiate environment) may create work related to college student development and/or student affairs in addition to their work responsibilities.

The purpose of the project is to:

1) determine whether learning outcomes of the practice-oriented educational experience for students in the CSDC is different for full-time students and part-time students

2) determine if there is a difference in the perceived relevance of practice-oriented educational experiences for full-time and part-time students in the CSDC program

3) determine if full-time and part-time CSDC students perceive the usefulness of the course component of the POE experience differently



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