Academic programs in TPC have grown 172% from 1997 to 2013 (Meloncon, 2012). In the last 5 years alone, masters programs, the focus of this research protocol, have grown 20%. With this rapid growth, however, the field has failed to adequately assess the quality of academic programs where quality is determined by how well students are prepared for the demands of the profession. There has only been one small qualitative study (Wilson & Ford, 2003) that asked alumni about how well their master’s program prepared them for the job. Moreover, there have only been two studies (Rainey, Turner, & Dayton, 2005 and Whiteside, 2003) that have asked employers or hiring managers how well their hires were prepared for the job.
This research attempts to fill this gap by performing a national survey of alumni of master’s programs in TPC and hiring managers in TPC how well graduates of master’s programs are prepared for their jobs. This research will be replicating parts of the Wilson & Ford (2003) study and the Rainey, Turner and Dayton (2005) study.