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A study evaluating the business curricular practices in the public community colleges of California Public Deposited

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  • The purpose of this study was to evaluate the business curricula in the community colleges of California through the use of a set of criteria developed specifically for this function. The criterion checklist was submitted to a nationwide group of respected business educators whose opinions set the standard against which the procedures and opinions of the chairmen of the community college business divisions were compared. The criteria represented an attempt at stating an ideal toward which business educators might strive. The submission of the criteria to the panel of educators served also as a trial run of the survey instrument. In addition, the criteria were tested by a group of businessmen and a group of community college business students. Modification and revision was based on the responses of those participating in the sampling. The revised instrument was submitted to all community colleges in California. The rate of return was 62 responses out of 91 possible for a 68.1 percent usable return. The study was limited to the evaluation of only objectives, courses, and curricula. The choices of response were also limited to avoid presenting a continuum which would necessitate an interpretation of gradation or matter of degree. The degree of compliance was considered unimportant for the purposes of this study. It was anticipated that most respondents in both groups would agree with a majority of the criteria. Because this did occur, the most important consequence of the survey was the determination of the number of individuals who actually adhered to the practices which they had indicated they felt to be desirable. It must be remembered that the set of criteria was not intended to apply in its entirety to all situations. Size, location, and social setting are but some of the variables which make the universal application of the criterion set impossible. The standards set for a community college must reflect the demands of those it seeks to serve. In most instances, it is quite likely that the criteria which were judged as being undesirable were criteria which did not fit into the programs offered by that particular community college for good reason. The reasons behind many of the responses to the criteria are needed in order to better comprehend the total evaluative process. Because all criteria in the set do not apply to all programs, only those criteria which do apply should be considered for the purposes of conducting a self-evaluation. However, before any criteria are eliminated as not being applicable, the faculty of the community college business division must be absolutely certain of their inapplicability. Are the statements truly inapplicable or are they being rated as such merely to avoid facing circumstances as they really exist? Each community college business faculty should use this criterion set only as a model for the development of its own evaluative instrument. "Canned criteria" with no room for individuality are not the answer. Evaluation should be conducted by following only those criteria with specific applicability to each community college's individual circumstances. Do these standards allow for meeting the needs of today's world?
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