Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Charles C. Warfield


The purpose of this study was to describe, analyze and interpret the expectations and outcomes of industry partnerships with community colleges to determine their value, emerging themes that have contributed to their success or demise, and whether the goals initially set forth in establishing these partnerships was achieved. This study is based upon resource dependency theory, which proposed that if government and state funding given in support of community college education was diminishing, then the need is to better understand the value of and how community college and industry partnerships are working toward continuation. Resource dependency theory revolves around the notion of interdependence. The context of this research was a qualitative and comparative case study of three community colleges representing rural, suburban, and urban communities in partnership with business and industry. In-depth interviews were conducted with key stakeholders from each of these institutions, as well as one business partner serviced by the community college in its region. The study added to the research gap on community college partnerships with business and industry by understanding that the interest in partnerships may have been enticed by state and private aid. However, the partnerships were cultivated by the personal relationships that developed between the decision-makers, which resulted in the ongoing exchange of training contracts between these organizations to meet workforce development needs.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access