The Influence of the Completion Agenda on Decision-making by Community College Career and Technical Education Program Deans Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/nz8062456

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  • This study documented the influence of the completion agenda on decision-making by community college career and technical education (CTE) deans. Ten career and technical programs deans were identified as the sample for the study. Washington State was selected because of the Student Achievement Initiative that was developed as a completion agenda initiative and a performance based funding model. A narrative analysis was used to code data from transcripts of a single in-person interview conducted with each one of ten CTE deans at seven technical colleges in Washington State. The interview questions were designed to discover the participants’ perceptions of the internal and external forces that influence CTE deans’ decision-making and the influence of the completion agenda. The major findings of this study were developed within the theoretical framework of Resource Dependency Theory. Results indicated that there are number of internal and external factors influencing CTE dean decision-making with budgeting and faculty interactions being the most prevalent. These factors showed a strong connection to Resource Dependency Theory and it is clear that the CTE deans perceive limited control on factors which impact their decision-making. Further, the influence of the completion agenda was not viewed as significant and the deans were neither threatened nor inspired by it. The respondents expressed a perceived conflict between providing immediate career opportunities for the students they serve and meeting the requirements of the completion agenda. The CTE deans struggled between supporting their students’ interest in receiving training to move into the workforce and the need to graduate more students to meet the needs of the Student Achievement Initiative. These findings support the need for further research on the influence of business and industry on CTE students’ ability to earn more degrees and certificates to meet the needs of the completion agenda. The research suggests the benefit of community college CTE deans partnering with employers to allow students to move up or into the workforce while having release time or support to complete associates degrees to meet the completion agenda goals.
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