The role of Oregon community colleges in economic development as perceived by community college faculty and administrators and the business community which they serve Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/gx41mn20d

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  • Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate areas of consensus and differences among Oregon community college faculty, administrators, and their business community on the desired role of the community college and the perceived current role in economic development as defined by selected economic development activities. Methods and Procedures: Twenty-three economic development activities were identified in a review of the literature that were useful in defining the role of community colleges in economic development. Mail out survey instruments were constructed utilizing the twenty-three activities. Respondents were asked to rate each activity as to the level of emphasis that was presently occurring and to the level of importance that it should be emphasized in the community college. Data were collected from 288 individuals representing four groups (full-time faculty, part-time faculty, administrators, and business community members). Subjects were randomly selected from two community college classifications (small community colleges and large community colleges) in proportion to their group's representation in the population, and from the business population geographically located in the corresponding community college service districts. ANOVA statistical tests, t-tests and rank order analysis were the methods used to analyze the data for interpretation. Findings and Conclusions: There was a high degree of consensus among the administrator, full-time faculty, part-time faculty, and business community groups as to the current emphasis and desired emphasis on the twenty-three selected economic development activities in Oregon community colleges. When perceptual differences occurred among the four groups on what was occurring and what should be occurring, in relation to the selected economic development activities, administrators and full-time faculty tended to respond alike. Likewise, the part-time faculty and the business community tended to respond alike. The administrators and business community responded differently more than any other paired group. All groups tended to support the view that the community colleges should be placing more importance on the selected economic development activities than what was occurring. Vocational faculty and nonvocational faculty tended to perceive the same level of importance of the selected economic development activities. There was an obvious discrepancy between the lack of knowledge expressed by the business community and part-time faculty versus the greater knowledge expressed by the community college administrators and full-time faculty on the community colleges' activity in performing the economic development role.
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