A study of the Fairfax County Public Schools school/business partnership

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


The Fairfax County Public Schools and neighboring business/industry have perhaps one of the oldest and most satisfactory school/business partnerships in Virginia. A case study was made of the Fairfax County Public Schools School/Business Partnership to identify factors that make a partnership work and to provide information to assist a school system or business/industry interested in the establishment of a partnership.

The population for this case study research was made up of school system and business/industry persons who had first-hand knowledge of the partnership.

To begin the study a document search of the files and program was made. This document search resulted in a set of interview schedules which were then administered to the stakeholders. Data resulting from these schedules were coded and reported in narrative form.

Results indicated that commitment from top level management from both the school system and business/industry to the partnership, a project of major proportion, and a program designed in a way to permit mutual pursuit of the goals of the partners are important if the partnership is to work.