Date of Award

4-1995

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Department

Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Eugene Thompson

Second Advisor

Dr. Uldis Smidchens

Third Advisor

Dr. Timothy Quinn

Abstract

Community colleges are faced with the challenge of providing educational opportunities to an increasing and diverse population at a time of educational reform and decreasing financial resources. The colleges are expected to meet the changing needs of the communities they serve through open access, a diversity of high quality courses, and with schedules that accommodate the life styles of their students.

The study was designed to answer the following research question: Are there differences between the five leadership role groups, at Michigan’s 29 community colleges, regarding levels of awareness and understanding about distance education as a means of providing courses to their diverse student populations. Survey items were developed, by the researcher, to measure the awareness and understanding or distance education in the areas of program planning, curricular issues, and cost effectiveness. A total of 145 college presidents, chief academic officers, chief financial officers, media services directors, and faculty leaders were mailed the survey. They were also asked about their college’s current use of distance education technology as a means of receiving and providing distance education courses to students on their campuses and to remote classrooms sites.

The study provides important information about the five leadership groups’ awareness and understanding about distance education. The conclusions of the study will assist community college presidents, chief academic officers, chief financial officers, media services directors, and faculty leaders in making informed decisions about the implementation of distance education technology as a means of increasing curricular offerings for students.

The major conclusion in this study was that the awareness and understanding of distance education differs among the five leadership groups. There were major differences of opinion between the chief academic officers and the faculty on academic performance, interaction between students and faculty, course evaluation, and use of nationally prepackaged distance education courses. The study concluded that there is substantial support for distance education from all leadership groups, but there are important planning, curricular, and cost effectiveness issues that need to be resolved prior to implementation.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

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