WHY STUDENTS CHOOSE THEBRANCH CAMPUS OF A LARGE UNIVERSITY BY SCOTT L. HO WELL , PHD DIRECTOR, BYU SALT LAKE CENTER
MOVE TO DOWNTOWN SALT LAKE CITY
FIFTH LOCATION SINCE 1959
REALLY?―What happened to all the peoplewho thought online learning woulddrive traditional education out of themarket? Just when ‗click‘ is supposedto be replacing ‗brick,‘ branchcampuses are proliferating aroundthe country‖ (p. 1).
WHAT DO WE REALLY KNOW ABOUT BRANCH CAMPUSES?• Very little. NCES or other organizations do not track.• Few research studies exist and what they examined is eclectic—more on what it takes to establish a new campus: • The political process, inter-campus relations, organizational considerations and the use of technology (Clark & Tullar, 1995; De Give & Olswang, 1999; Dengerink, 2001; Eduventures, 2006; Healy, 1997; Hermanson, 1993, 1995; Knapp, Roffman, & Cooper, 2009; Marx, 2005; Merzer, 2008; Morrill & Beyers, 1991; Motter, 1999; Parkyn, 1999; Penn, 2007).
ONLY ONE FLEDGLING NATIONALASSOCIATION FOR BRANCH CAMPUSES.
SPECIFIC STUDY PURPOSEThis study will focus on one research question notcarefully examined in the existing literature: thereasons and explanations given by three types ofstudents for enrolling at a branch campus within justan hour‘s drive of the main campus.• (1) matriculated, undergraduate university students (72 %);• (2) non-matriculated students (13 %);• (3) students enrolled in the Executive Masters of Public Administration (EMPA) program (9 %) and those enrolled in the Bachelor of General Studies Program (BGS) degree completion program (6 %)
STUDY DETAILS• This study was conducted during March 2011 at the only branch campus associated with Brigham Young University (BYU), a private, religiously- affiliated, doctoral university. The main campus is in Provo, Utah and the branch campus is in Salt Lake City—according to Mapquest™ it is a 45-mile drive that takes approximately 53 minutes to travel from Provo to Salt Lake City.• 3,022 students who previously took courses at the Salt Lake Center during 2010 – 2011, and n=979 completed the survey for a 32 % response rate.
RESULTSTable 1. What are your personal reasons for taking classes at the BYU Salt LakeCenter?Class times work well with my schedule 593 60.6%Smaller class sizes 489 49.9%Prefer to attend a 2.5 hour class once a week 391 39.9%Location was convenient 385 39.3%More instructor interaction 356 36.4%I thought it would be easier to receive a higher grade in the course at the 252 25.7%centerPersonal attention provided by Center staff 202 20.6%BYU reputation for excellence 147 15.0%Desired a class from a specific instructor 141 14.4%Other 123 12.6%Class was filled on the BYU Provo campus 122 12.5%For self-enrichment or personal interest 110 11.2%Class was not offered on the BYU Provo campus 71 7.3%To possibly become admitted to BYU in the future 66 6.7%
WHAT THE STUDENTS SAY?• Clean facility, neat, close parking, small class size, energetic professors, and very nice facilities. Library computers are accessible and available!• The facility itself is great; its new and has everything Ive ever needed. I also like the parking structure being right next to the entrance, thats a big plus in downtown SLC.• How clean the area is, the nice teachers, the smaller classrooms.• Everything is conveniently placed in the building. The instructors seemed much more inter-personal.
SOME MORE COMMENTS. . .• It is convenient and the classes are equally as good as on the Provo campus.• The faculty is stupendous; as good as any professor I had at BYU-Provo. They are fun, efficient, and good at teaching. I also like that the classes are so small, that my professors actually know me on a first name basis, and seem interested in my success.• I loved the atmosphere that is a little different from BYU. Though the instructors were nearly the same quality and students still had a high standard of moral and spirit, I felt like I could more easily make friends and focus in class.
FITTING CONCLUSIONI like that you offer another campus for those who are interested
THANK YOU VERY MUCH SCOTT L. HOWELLDIRECTOR OF BYU SALT LAKE CENTER EMAIL: SCOTT.HOWELL@BYU.EDU PHONE: 801-933-9436