Managers without a first degree thrive in online-Masters programmes (distance learning)

Classical and linear career pathways towards education are conventionally maintained throughout one–s life. However, in an age in which the half-life of knowledge has become extremely short, lifelong learning has come to the fore and has made new educational paths possible. Now there is no reason for those who were unable to attain university degrees in the past to not be able to get the opportunity for academic growth.

Several years ago, the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany (KMK) called on universities to make it possible to enter a Master–s programme even without a Bachelor–s degree. The German quality guidelines (DQR) of level 6, place a Bachelor on the same level with vocational training to the specialized landlord, master and technician and owners of equivalent conclusions, e.g. occupation and guidance experience. This was a daring step into the new century. Within the framework of quaternary education, it presented a new opportunity for managers and the whole economy.

Executives are ALP–s main target group. Since 2014, ALP has been offering part-time, distance learning Master–s courses (without attendance) in cooperation with and on behalf of universities. The Master–s programmes are aimed in particular at managers and, in exceptional cases, enable entry without a first degree, provided that the prerequisites are fulfilled. Students are enrolled at the collaboration universities and receive their academic degrees from them. Supervision and teaching is carried out by the ALP.

The average age of ALP students is 44 years. Managing directors, personnel managers, trainers, coaches as well as medical doctors and lawyers are students who have decided to study at ALP and its cooperating universities.

After five years of experience, the ALP has found that managers without a first degree achieve slightly better grades and, moreover, are more likely to complete their studies within the standard period of study than their fellow students in comparable groups. In addition, it was found that managers without a first degree more often make use of the flexible consultation hours of ALP teaching staff. This is mostly with the aim of organizing themselves more efficiently and achieving more professional results. Surveys also showed that the use of guidance provided by ALP cohort managers was accepted with gratitude and enthusiasm by the students.

From 2020, ALP will expand its range of distance learning courses (online Master–s courses) with its university partners to include the following:

• Political Psychology MSc (3 semesters, English-speaking, in exceptional cases without first degree possible, distance learning)
• Psychological Medicine and Mental Health / Complementary Medicine MSc (2 semesters, German-speaking, in exceptions without first degree possible, distance learning)
• Psychological Medicine and Mental Health MSc (3 semesters, English speaking, in exceptions without first degree possible, distance learning)
• Business Psychology MSc (2 semesters, German-speaking, exceptions without first degree possible, distance learning)
• Business Psychology MSc (3 semesters, English-speaking, exceptions without first degree possible, distance learning)
• Labour law and industrial psychology MSc (3 semesters, German-speaking, exceptions without first degree possible, distance learning)
• Cyber-Psychology and online communication MSc (3 semesters, English-speaking, exceptions without first degree possible, distance learning)
• Communication Psychology and Business Psychology MSc (3 semesters, German-speaking, exceptions without first degree possible, distance learning)

Information material is available at info@alp-lehrinstitut.de.

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