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ERIC Number: EJ1044058
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1556-3847
Evaluating the Impact of the Administrator and Administrative Structure of Online Programs at Nonprofit Private Colleges
Hoey, Rebecca; McCracken, Fawn; Gehrett, Matt; Snoeyink, Rick
Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, v17 n3 Fall 2014
Nonprofit private colleges lag behind their public and for-profit counterparts in offering online programs. Many nonprofit private colleges affiliated with the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) launched their first online programs within the past five years. As a result, administrative structures to manage online programs at those institutions may be underdeveloped. Unfortunately there is very little empirical research to guide institutions as they evaluate their administrative structure for online programs. This research examined the impact of the administrator and administrative structure on the outcomes of online student enrollment, number of online programs, and efficiency of online operations among member institutions of the CCCU. Findings suggest both have significant influence. Nonprofit private colleges must critically examine their administrative structures for online programs if they wish to gain a foothold in the competitive online market. The number of colleges and universities that offer online programs continues to grow. Among higher education institutions, the number of private nonprofit institutions with online programs increased more than any other sector in the past decade, from 22.1% in 2002 to 48.4% in 2012 (Allen & Seaman, 2013). Despite that growth, private nonprofit institutions still lagged behind public and for-profit institutions, offering fewer online programs in 2012 than either public or for-profit institutions offered a decade ago. With research-based evidence, nonprofit private colleges may strategically position themselves to be more competitive with other sectors of higher education in the nontraditional adult education space. This study examined the influence of administrative structure on the growth of online education within one association of private nonprofit institutions, the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. For the purpose of this study, adult learners are those enrolled in an online program historically offered to students on a college campus. Delivering cost-effective online education in a competitive marketplace where the for-profit and large universities dominate is a challenge for smaller private institutions. There is little research to guide small private nonprofit institutions on how best to structure the administration of online programs to achieve successful outcomes. In this study successful outcomes are described as growth in enrollment, growth in the number of online programs offered by an institution, and efficient operation of online programs in the areas of new program proposals, new program development, curriculum and program revision, and student services. Given the competitive nature of online learning, it is important to examine the institutional practices that contribute to the success of online learning programs within private nonprofit higher education institutions. The following research questions are addressed in this study: What is the current state of online learning at CCCU institutions? What administrative structures are currently employed for online programs at CCCU institutions? Does administrative structure impact the success outcomes of online enrollment, number of online programs, and efficiency of online program operations? Does having an administrator dedicated to leading online programs impact the success outcomes of online enrollment, number of online programs, and efficiency of online program operations? Does the launch date of online programs within an institution impact the online enrollment and number of online programs?
State University of West Georgia. 1601 Maple Street, Honors House, Carrollton, GA 30118. Tel: 678-839-5489; Fax: 678-839-0636; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A