DeVry University and Keller Graduate School

DeVry University and Keller Graduate School of Management of DeVry University changed the final exam schedule for online classes, beginning with the session that started 4/30/07. The old exam period opened on Sunday of week 7 and closed on Sunday of week 8. The new exam period opens Saturday of week 7 and closes on Thursday of week 8.

DeVry promotes Keller on their admissions website with the following statement: “Our business-oriented graduate degree and graduate certificate programs are scheduled so that busy professionals can receive a quality education.” http://www.devry.edu/keller/whykeller/flexible_scheduling.jsp

On other websites, DeVry promotes Keller with an advertisement that states “You are busy. You work full-time. But, you need a master's degree to get that promotion. DeVry University's Keller Graduate School of Management is the solution for you. We've designed our master's degree programs to fit the schedule of busy professionals 100% ONLINE” http://www.business-masters-degrees.org/masters-in-business/business-degree.asp

Many Keller students have found the new exam schedule to contradict these statements for the following reasons:
• Online classes are condensed into eight weeks. Accordingly, each week is loaded with assignments such as reading, textbook problems, quizzes, discussions, etc. Completing the assignments each week is challenging. Thus, it is difficult for many students to begin final exam preparations prior to exam week
• A recent statistical analysis of selected degree programs found that “86 percent of master’s degree students worked.” (http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2006/2006185.pdf, 127)
• Many Keller students have children
• A portion of Keller students have inconsistent travel schedules due to their occupation, belonging to a military, etc.

Consider a student that is a “busy professional,” such as Keller has targeted in their advertisements mentioned above. An average adult spends: 7.69 hours working http://www.bls.gov/news.release/atus.t07.htm); 52 minutes commuting roundtrip (http://www.bts.gov/press_releases/2003/bts020_03/html/bts020_03.html); and 8 hours sleeping (http://science.education.nih.gov/supplements/nih3/sleep/guide/info-sleep.htm). In effect, an average adult would have a little over seven hours each day, Monday-Thursday, to conduct other daily activities (personal hygiene/getting ready for work, eating three meals, handling medical issues, caring for dependants, etc.), prepare for, and take their final exam. It could be assumed a busy professional would have less time than the average adult. It seems reasonable to assume the average individual would feel a level of exhaustion after a workday. A busy professional that must find time to study for and take a final exam during four workdays would likely endure a high level of stress. Inevitably, stress will hinder the student’s ability to prepare for and perform well on a final exam. Memory, problem solving abilities, and general performance are all impaired by stress (http://www.tc.umn.edu/~athe0007/BNEsig/papers/OnlineLearning.pdf, 4). Many students are likely to reduce the amount of sleep they receive in an effort to gain study time, causing them to experience exhaustion during the day. Daytime sleepiness is a serious concern. In fact, approximately 100,000 automobile crashes occur yearly due to daytime sleepiness (http://science.education.nih.gov/supplements/nih3/sleep/guide/info-sleep.htm). Some students may use vacation time during exam week to ensure they have an adequate amount of preparation time, while maintaining a healthy sleep schedule. However, some students may not have the ability to use vacation time for this purpose.

In summary, many students believe the new final exam schedule is counterproductive to the purpose DeVry and Keller serve busy professionals.

We, the undersigned students of DeVry and Keller, request DeVry University and Keller Graduate School of Management of DeVry University to change the online final exam period back to its previous schedule, opening on Sunday of week 7 and closing on Sunday of week 8.

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The DeVry University and Keller Graduate School Online Exam Schedule petition to DeVry University and Keller Graduate School was written by DeVry Keller Student and is in the category Education at GoPetition.