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ERIC Number: ED556525
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 393
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3036-4711-6
Faculty Members' Lived Experiences with Academic Quality in For-Profit On-Ground Gainful Employment Programs
Booton, Carol M.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Northcentral University
Academic quality in for-profit vocational (Gainful Employment) programs is a concern for all stakeholders. However, academic quality is not easily defined. The Department of Education's Gainful Employment Rule defines academic quality With a few easily measured metrics such as student retention and job placement rate, despite the fact that academic quality is widely considered to be complex and multidimensional. Gainful Employment standards alone are not adequate to describe academic quality in for-profit vocational programs. The purpose of this qualitative study was to expand understanding of academic quality in on-ground Gainful Employment programs by gathering the lived experiences of faculty who taught in these programs. The study used a phenomenological approach, in which faculty members of two for-profit vocational colleges in the Portland, Oregon, metropolitan area were interviewed in person. Faculty were recruited using Linkedln groups and e-mail invitations. Systems theory served as the theoretical foundation for the study. The four common systems elements of inputs, processes, outcomes, and institutional environment formed the basis for the research questions. The systems thinking tool of rich pictures was employed to gain deeper insight into the phenomenon of academic quality. Triangulation was accomplished through the comparison of interview data; visual data from the rich pictures; my memos; and institutional Web content and college catalogs. Analysis of the interviews and rich pictures generated 301 attributes, which were organized first by research question, and then by key stakeholder group (faculty, students, administrators, and institution). Ten discernible themes emerged from faculty perceptions of academic quality, categorized according to systems inputs, processes, outcomes, and institutional environment. The conclusion was that academic quality is a multidimensional construct that includes many more attributes than simply student retention or job placement rate. A dynamic model of academic quality incorporating the systems elements of inputs, processes, outcomes, and system environment was proposed, and a composite rich picture was presented. The scope of the research should be expanded to include the perceptions of other stakeholder groups, for example, administrators, students, employers, and taxpayers. Future research should also include other geographical areas and comparisons between for-profit and nonprofit vocational education. [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: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Oregon