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ERIC Number: ED540225
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 153
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-2671-0430-4
The Impact of Size on Characteristics and Behaviors that Support General Education Programs in Accredited Public Community and Technical Colleges
Dempsey, Sarah J.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Ball State University
This research study examined the impact of the size of accredited public associate degree-granting community and technical colleges on institutional characteristics and behaviors that support general education programs. Further, it sought opinions of the chief academic officers (CAOs) of these institutions regarding key elements of their general education programs to yield a description of the status of general education programs in accredited, public, associate degree-granting community and technical colleges. The research utilized an internet-based survey administered to 135 chief academic officers of accredited public associate degree-granting community and technical colleges within the 19 states of the Higher Learning Commission's accrediting authority. Of the 135 respondents, 75 institutions were classified as small, 38 as medium, and 22 as large. The response rate was 39%. The results indicated that institutional size is related (p less than 0.05) to the availability of professional development for faculty targeted at improving general education outcomes, service learning/civic engagement opportunities for students, and the use of standardized tests for all students nearing graduation as a method of assessing general education outcomes. Institutional size, however, did not appear to be related to areas of knowledge or intellectual skills and abilities found in these institutions. Responses of CAOs indicated that many students do not understand the purpose of general education coursework and more work is needed to assure that most graduates master general education learning outcomes. The integration of general education into students' majors appears to be occurring in accredited public associate degree institutions of all sizes. Slightly more than half of the respondents for this study believe that the priority of general education at their institutions has increased in the last five years. Other important institutional behaviors related to general education were also examined relative to the size of the institution or to the status of general education in public associate degree-granting institutions. Suggestions for future research include an examination of the relationship of program review processes to actual changes in general education programs, a meta analysis of strategies institutions have found to be successful in assisting students to better understand the purpose of general education, and the relationship of student success in general education to service learning and civic engagement activities. Since few studies have addressed the relationship of institutional size to key institutional choices about general education or other important institutional behaviors related to general education, this study addresses a gap in the literature and adds to the body of knowledge available about these topics. A summary of key institutional effectiveness metrics related to general education, as seen by CAOs of these institutions, was also discussed in the findings. [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:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A