Continuing education and community services goals for Virginia's community colleges :a modified Delphi study.
MetadataShow full item record
1. Purpose of the Study. The primary purpose of this study was to determine if agreement on the goals of continuing education and community services could be arrived at among Virginia Community College System presidents, provosts, deans of instruction, and directors of continuing education by using the Delphi technique. Ambiguity existing on the goals and further testing of the hypothesis (Weaver's) that the Delphi technique can be u~ed to shape judgment were of interest.
2. Methods and Procedures. The literature and "panels of experts were used to develop a Delphi-type questionnaire which was administered through three rounds to the 23 presidents, 11 provosts, 22 deans of instruction, and 29 directors of continuing education in the Virginia Community College System. Respondents were instructed to rate each of the 46 goal statements in accordance with a fivepoint scale ranging from "strongly disagree" to "strongly agree." Controlled "feedback" included the interquartile range and median for all respondents and groups of respondents by goal statement and arguments in favor of higher and lower preference ratings. The consensus rate was used as the basis for making comparisons between and within groups of respondents.
3. Conclusions. The presidents and provosts, deans of instruction, and directors of continuing education held different perceptions toward a majority (56 percent) of the goal statements. Disagreement on the goals, in many instances, was as prevalent within groups as it was between. The presidents, provosts, and deans of instruction perceived the role of the programs to be more narrow than the directors of continuing education. Continuing education and community services were perceived by all administrators as being two separate, definable, but interrelated programs with continuing education being primarily credit and c.e.u. oriented and with community services being non-credit, non-c.e.u. oriented. In the administrators appeared to be traditionally oriented; i.e. they did not perceive the more non-traditional programs (non-traditional degrees, CLEP, community counseling centers, etc.) as being a major thrust of continuing education and community services. The directors of continuing education perceived the programs being administered by a first-level manager (dean); the presidents, provosts, and deans of instruction preferred a second-level manager. The administrators perceived all continuing education and community services activities of the campus being administered by the same administrator with all other units of the campus providing support services to that administrative unit. Collectively, the administrators viewed the programs being funded by a combination of tuition, registration fees, and local and state tax dollars. (State support of continuing education and community services is presently not feasible under Virginia law.) Major unresolved issues were: (I) should continuing education and community services become involved in solving community problems, (2) should they include offering off-campus degree programs, (3) should they be more nontraditionally oriented, (4) should they be managed by a first- or second-level manager, and (5) should they receive support through state tax dollars. The Delphi technique was practically ineffective in shaping the judgments of the administrators.
- Doctoral Dissertations