Public Agenda

Methodology and Topline: Not Yet Sold

What Employers and Community College Students Think About Online Education

The findings summarized in this report are part of a larger ongoing project researching the views of various student and employer groups on higher education issues. As part of this larger study, Public Agenda collected survey data through telephone interviews with representative samples of human resources (HR) professionals from four major U.S. metropolitan areas between April and May 2013. We also collected survey data from a nationally representative sample of current community college students between February and June 2013 via telephone and online interviews.

This brief is based on the following samples:

656 HR professionals from the Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Detroit and El Paso-Las Cruces metropolitan areas. Interviewees were randomly selected from organizations listed in the Dun & Bradstreet database. In the Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Detroit areas, organizations with 50 or more employees were included; the El-Paso-Las Cruces sample included organizations with 10 or more employees. All respondents said that positions in their organizations “sometimes,” “often” or “always” demanded a postsecondary credential.

215 current community college students. All interviewees were enrolled at a community college. The majority (94 percent) were completing classes toward a certificate or degree at this school; 6 percent said they were taking classes but not looking to graduate with a certificate or degree.

Public Agenda designed the survey instruments and analyzed the data. Data were collected by Social Science Research Solutions, Inc. (SSRS). All data were weighted to correct for variance in the likelihood of selection for a given case and to balance the sample to known population parameters to correct for systematic under- or over-representation of different types of community college students and employers. The margin of error of the weighted data for the HR professionals survey is +/– 4.18 percent. The margin of error of the weighted data for the student survey is +/– 7.9 percent. As always, the margin of error is larger for subgroups within samples.



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Not Yet Sold (Topline & Methodology)

What Employers and Community College Students Think About Online Education

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Topline and methodology from the report, "Not Yet Sold: What Employers and Community College Students Think About Online Education".

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