Juggling Between Academics and Employment - Paper Example

6 pages
1388 words
Middlebury College
Type of paper: 
Research paper
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The learning environment in contemporary colleges and universities has been transformed significantly by many different factors, most of which have affected or influenced how students approach their learning process. For instance, the fact that college degrees do not almost guarantee a successful career after graduation has made it necessary for learners to find other alternative ways of putting themselves in a pole position to secure meaningful employment after graduation. For example, most learners are involved in odd jobs during their college years to get themselves acclimatized to the workplace environment and get more experience, in the hope that the experience will enable them secure good professional careers at the end of their studies. Nevertheless, the phenomenon of students being employed while still taking their classes has been occasioned by a myriad of factors as illustrated in extant literature. However, while more students get motivated to join the workforce while still attending their classes, it is important to evaluate and analyze this situation from the perspective of the impact of employment status of the learners on their academic performance.

Juggling between academics and employment can be a daunting task for many students in colleges. This depends on the type or nature of work they are engaged in as well as the demands on their academic performance. For instance, if a student is involved in a highly demanding job at ab time when he or she is expected to prepare for examinations, there can be a challenge in the preparations, which may result in poor performance, either at the workplace or in the academics depending on where the student gives priority. Therefore, it is on this basis of the probable impact of employment on the academic performance of students that this study focuses on assessing the relationship between employment status and academic performance.

Therefore, in order to effectively determine the impact of employment status on academic performance, this study set out to interact with college students involved in employment in order to analyze how the employment affected their performance in academics. Thus, the study will be carried out at the College of Staten Island (CSI). CSI is one of the four-year senior colleges within the City University of New York system. The college offers a wide range of programs including sciences, liberal arts, and professional studies that culminate in either bachelors or associate degrees. Furthermore, the College of Staten Island offers masters and doctorate programs in different fields. The institution has attracted a number of students over the years due to its broad range of degree programs.

However, as the demand for the education at the institution goes up, so has the tuition fee gone up. This situation is only reminiscent of the current status of education across the country, where the costs of accessing quality education have become exorbitant in recent years. This has led to many of the college students to enroll in different work-study programs or secure other employment opportunities to be able to cater for their tuition and other related costs. Therefore, with many students juggling between work and study in the CSI, it forms good environment for this research, which seeks to establish the relationship between the employment status of students and their academic achievement.

This study is important for various reasons. For instance, the study is bound to make a significant contribution to existing literature about the factors influencing academic performance of college students and other tertiary institutions, particularly in relation to their employment status. Therefore, this research will make a significant contribution to this subject area by examining and analyzing the impact of paid employment on the academic performance of college students. The research will achieve this by differentiating between the experiences of both domestic and international students. Thus, the findings from this study will be critical in coming up with relevant recommendations that can inform policy decisions in institutions of higher learning and in the wider education system for purposes of creating a conducive environment where learners can focus on their studies.

To effectively comprehend the relationship between academic performance and employment status of students, this study conducted a review of extant literature to determine what existing studies have already established. This is an important process in comprehending the nature of this relationship between employment status and academic performance in a manner that can help this current study move the discussion forward by covering the existing gaps in contemporary literature.

Consequently, the analysis of extant literature brought to the fore a wide range of themes that have been critical in understanding the impact of academic performance and employment status. Among these themes include Student Employment and Academic Success, Effects on Time to Graduation, Effects on Future Earnings and Employability, and Reasons for Students Employment. Therefore, based on the analysis of the existing contemporary literature, several issues can be raised in evaluating the relationship between employment status and academic performance. For instance, it was revealed that college students worked for 428 hours annually or an average of 8.2 hours per week. Furthermore, most of the students were engaged in either physical work, non-demanding work, moderately demanding work, or very demanding work. Besides, the analysis of the impact of students work on academic performance revealed that students work negatively affected academic performance thus reducing the probability of progressing to the next year of studies.

Going forward, the study will adopt a mixed method of research design. Therefore, the study will integrate both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Hence, the study will be explanatory since it first conducts quantitative research, analyses the findings and build more on the results with qualitative data. This is deemed most appropriate for this study because it enables the researcher to manage all the research activities effectively, ensuring that all the main objectives of the study are attained. Consequently, the study will employ the use of both primary and secondary data in order to gain a comprehensive picture of the subject. This will be critical in analyzing the data collected in order to make appropriate recommendations. Primary data for this research project will be gathered from the research participants selected from among students of the College of Staten Island, New York. The study admitted 30 students, including both fulltime and part-time students. On the other hand, secondary data will be gathered from sources such as books, journals, and reliable internet sources. Data collected from secondary sources will be important in trying to relate the practices in improving academic performance while at the same time trying to perform better at work in the college.

The sample population for this study will comprise of college students in the College of Staten Island, from where primary data for the study will be collected. It is one of the leading institutions of tertiary education in the region, with a huge population of students. Most of the students are employed in neighboring businesses within the city. The city is also a host to many organizations, including public and private as well as international and local firms in different industries. This study will incorporate 30 students taking different college degrees, including both two-year degrees and four-year degrees. 15 students will be directly interviewed face to face while 15 other students were given questionnaires to fill in from the college library for about 30-45 minutes. The participants will mainly be asked about their academic experiences at the school as well as their socio-economic circumstances in the previous semesters. Participation in the survey will be optional. The study will also incorporate both full-time and evening class students.

For purposes of data analysis, this research study will employ both qualitative and quantitative methods of data analysis in attempting to create meaningful interpretations of the data collected from participants as well as data gathered from secondary sources. The data analysis will be conducted at two levels: the basic level and the latent level.

This research paper, like many other forms of study, is vulnerable experience various ethical challenges and different limitations, which can have an effect on the outcome of the final findings, if such limitations are not managed properly. For instance, one major limitation of this study is neutrality. This kind of information is unlikely to be neutral since the students may biased with the information they provide in a bid to present the best information about themselves while withholding negative information from the researcher.

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