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ERIC Number: ED568457
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 232
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3038-5104-9
Maintaining Strategic Relevance: Career & Technical Education Program Discontinuance within California Community Colleges
Fleming, Kevin J.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Claremont Graduate University
The California Community College mission requires offering relevant Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs. Due to program accretion and bureaucratic inertia, program discontinuance (PD) seems at odds with postsecondary culture. Yet, as a result of recent budget constrictions, community colleges are forced to identify effective PD processes. This holistic multiple-case study helps explain under what conditions CTE program discontinuance occurs, including how people felt about the process and the impact of institutional culture. A statewide policy analysis identifies the key elements within existing California Community College PD board policies. The theoretical framework for this study includes Birnbaum's (1989, 2004) bureaucratic system, and Bolman and Deal's (1997, 2008) four frames to analyze organizational change. An extensive literature review outlines the evolutionary history of the community college's CTE mission, the importance and structure of CTE programs, program accretion, and program discontinuance. This mixed methods research triangulates data including: archival records, a comprehensive policy analysis, and case study research via interviews. Utilizing pattern matching logic, this research compares patterns leading to PD within the organizational frames while citing quotations from interviewees. Thirty-four interviews were completed (70.45% response rate) from three California community colleges, and 60 district policies (83.33%) were cataloged and analyzed. Convergent patterns were identified including the PD process catalysts, appropriate communications, feelings and perceptions, appropriate process durations, and the role of board policy. This research revealed that CTE program discontinuance most commonly occurs: 1) when fiscal resources are reduced externally, 2) when a key administrative catalyst triggers a PD process, 3) when there is no full-time faculty to champion and provide leadership, and/or 4) when the college has a comprehensive annual program review cycle that measures program vitality. Current PD practices take better care of affected students than the part-time faculty members teaching in the terminated program. Communication and role clarity are of paramount importance. While most districts have an approved PD board policy, the ad hoc committee composition, process duration, and metrics are extremely pivotal. Key questions to consider in revising PD policies, best practices, eleven implications for practice, research limitations, and future research are discussed. [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: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California