A study of the relationship between time and task priority for continuing education administrators in private liberal arts college
The administrator role of adult and continuing education is changing in some private four-year colleges. Among several variables contributing to this change is increased emphasis on expanding continuing education efforts. Yet additional resources for accommodating this growth has not been forthcoming, due in part to limited financial resources. In this environment, the administrator of adult and continuing education must use his or her time more wisely.
This research identified the tasks adult and continuing education administrators performed, estimated the time they devoted to each task within a specified time category, and identified the priority the task had for the adult and continuing education administrator. Specifically, four research questions were addressed. These research questions were (1) What estimated amount of time do adult and continuing education administrators at private four-year colleges spend on each task they perform? (2) What priority do adult and continuing education administrators place on each task? (3) What is the relationship between the estimated amount of time expended on each task and the perceived priority of the task? And (4) Is there a relationship between selected demographic variables and the variable of estimated amount of time spent on tasks?
The findings indicate that administrators spend the majority of their time on communication tasks while spending the least amount of time on staffing and staff development tasks. Also, a large variance of time existed among and between institutions surveyed. The tasks that received the highest priority rating by administrators were taks 7 (developing publicity and public relations campaign for adult and continuing education), 45 (handling student problems), and 46 (teaching adult and continuing education classes). Finally, there were high positive correlations between time spent on task and several demographic variables. Other demographic variables showed little or no positive correlations with time spent on task.