Date of Award

2006

Level of Access

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Forest Resources

Advisor

J. Louis Morin

Second Committee Member

Knud E. Hermansen

Third Committee Member

Raymond J. Hintz

Abstract

Mandatory Continuing Education (MCE) has always been a "hot button" topic in the professions and land surveying is no exception. Though most other professions (i.e. medicine, education, accountancy, dentistry, nursing, etc.) have included scientifically based research as part of their debate on whether to make continuing education mandatory, no empirical studies in land surveying were found. Though the land surveying literature is replete with anecdotal discussions on the topic, (commentaries, editorials, policy statements, magazine articles, etc.), and tremendous energy is being expended within the land surveying profession in debating and making decisions regarding the MCE issue, the lack of hard research has necessitated that all needs for such research be met by borrowing from other professions. The herein described research adds a scientifically defensible study of MCE in the discipline of land surveying to the existing body of research on MCE. All Massachusetts Registered Professional Land Surveyors were invited to participate in an on-line survey of their use of recent advances in technology & professional methods in their practices and the educational methods they employed in developing competency. The responses were then organized according to the participants' responsibilities for MCE as a result of licensure in other states. As a result, the relationships among differing responsibilities for MCE and the application of recent advances in technology and professional methods employed in the practices of the participants was then able to be isolated, measured and studied as a variable contributing to practice quality and improved competency. The results identify significant disconnects among individual responsibilities for MCE, MCE regulatory methods, MCE delivery methods, the actual education methods employed by practitioners in developing competency and conventional adult education theory. The study concludes with a discussion of several avenues for further research and reform of MCE for the land surveying profession in order to address the issues raised.

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