Exploration of Personal and Institutional Factors that Influence Application for Distance Delivered Programs in Agricultural Communications



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The purpose of this study was to understand the factors for consideration when pursuing a master’s degree in agricultural communications. The goal was to understand these influences, factors, and demands so that program administrators can tailor marketing strategies to the target audience. The Texas Tech University Agricultural Education and Communications Department launched the Master of Science in Agricultural Communications (distance delivered) in the 2016 spring semester. This research will assist the Department of Agricultural Education and Communications at Texas Tech develop and implement specific marketing ideas that enable non-traditional or non-resident students to enroll in a distance education program that is better suited to their unique needs. Strategic marketing includes knowing what the customer is seeking (Tracy, 2014). To fully understand the target audience and create services and degree programs that meet the needs of students and potential students, universities must also be strategic in their marketing efforts. To understand the marketing efforts that are most effective with a specific target audience, data should be collected and analyzed. These collection methods include conducting surveys and focus groups (Tucciarone, 2008). For this study, participants completed a survey instrument created to determine specific information. The results found the degree plan and ability to choose specific courses is the most important, followed by faculty and course factor groups.

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agricultural communications, distance degree marketing