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ERIC Number: ED522004
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 125
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1240-6555-7
The Image of the University of Idaho: A Qualitative Exploration of the Perceptions of Southeastern Idaho Opinion Leaders and the Effectual Influence upon the Choices of Prospective University Students
Skinner, Marc T.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Idaho
This study explored perceptions about the University of Idaho among southeastern Idaho opinion leaders through qualitative inquiry. For many years the University of Idaho has struggled to recruit and retain students from the southeastern region of Idaho. From data collected from focus groups, face to face interviews, and field observations five perception themes emerged from the data: geography, regionalization, religiosity, culture, and mythology. The University of Idaho appears to suffer from a widespread lack of visibility in the southeastern region of Idaho. Many of the existing perceptions of opinion leaders are negative and are often based upon outdated, yet influential stories that have been passed along for generations and that clearly reinforce the party school image. Considering the strong influence of the LDS Church in southeastern Idaho, many of these stories regarding partying and other negatively viewed behavior are detrimental to the enrollment decisions of prospective college students the region. Understanding how an institution of higher education is perceived by perspective students and those who influence them is essential for the planning and implementation of focused marketing and recruitment strategies. The findings of this study can serve as a foundation of understanding. The University of Idaho is a remarkable institution with a strong history of academic achievement. This study shows that it may be the University's image, not necessarily its reality, which individual perception leaders respond to. The perceptions many opinion leaders have about the University of Idaho are resistant to change. Through a sustained, long-term effort to tell the true story about the University of Idaho, people in southeastern Idaho can overcome many of the perceptions and stereotypes which have been cemented in their minds over decades. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Idaho