Associate (community college) degrees have expanded rapidly in the past decade in Hong Kong, but their value has been questioned due to the limited number of government-funded articulation opportunities available. This paper argues that associate degrees in Hong Kong are not valued solely for articulation purposes, but also for nurturing students’ development for future pursuits. This study examined associate degree students’ development longitudinally over the two-year curriculum, and piloted the use of diagnostic instruments for prospective quality assurance. Three hundred associate degree students from Engineering, Marketing and Sociology programmes (N = 113, 128 and 59, respectively) at a community college in Hong Kong completed the student engagement questionnaire at two time points (commencement and graduation). Two-way repeated measure multivariate analysis of variance results suggest a significant interaction effect between Time and Discipline and a main effect of Time on seven dimensions of generic capabilities. It was found that students from Engineering programmes yielded more and larger positive changes in generic capabilities than students of other programmes. Implications of the findings regarding the value and the learning environment of associate degrees are discussed. Copyright © 2014 Taylor & Francis.
CitationLee, W. W. S. (2014). Opening up a road to somewhere: Development of associate degree students in Hong Kong. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 33(5), 607-624.
- Associate degree
- Student engagement questionnaire
- Learning environment
- Hong Kong