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A longitudinal view of the liberal arts curriculum a decade after merger : a multiple case study of community colleges in Connecticut, Kentucky, and Louisiana.

03 Jul 2015-Community College Journal of Research and Practice (Routledge)-Vol. 39, Iss: 7, pp 591-602

AbstractThis study is an examination of the state of the liberal arts curriculum in community colleges in three geographic regions of the United States. From a constructivist paradigm and using globalization theory as a theoretical framework, this multiple case study examined faculty work life and administrative processes related to curriculum change in merged community and technical colleges. Through an examination of research on globalization, mergers, and trends in the general education and liberal arts curriculum, a gap in the literature emerged in the studies of community college curriculums after merger. This study considers whether the focus on workforce development and decrease in the transfer mission has diminished the liberal arts courses in the college curriculum. Research on liberal arts courses identified them as courses that emphasize higher order thinking and the development of intellectual skills needed to engage in a democratic society. If students are not exposed to these skills, it may have a d...

Topics: Liberal education (66%), Liberal arts education (66%), Curriculum (60%), Higher-order thinking (51%)

Summary (12 min read)

Jump to: [INTRODUCTION][Significance of the Study][Definition of Terms][Study Limitations][Summary][LITERATURE REVIEW][Globalization Theory][Mergers in Higher Education][Summary.][Increasing Emphasis on Workforce Development][Diminishing Liberal Arts Curriculum][Trends in the General Education][General Education Approaches][General Education Reform][Trends in the Liberal Arts Cun'iculum][Connecticut][Three Rivers Community and Technical][Chapter Two Summary][METHODOLOGY][Multiple Case Study Methodology][Data Collection Methods][Data Analysis][Single Case Analysis][Ethical Considerations][Building Trustworthiness][Chapter Three Summary][Single-case Analysis][Single-case analysis for][Theme 2 findings: Mission change and curriculum changes after the merger][Theme 3 findings: Curriculum administrative process after merger][Theme 4 findings: Conflict][A program faculty member (C126) stated:][Summary of Single-case Findings for Cl][Theme 1 findings: Curriculum changes in English and communication after the merger][Theme 2findings: Mission change and curriculum changes after merger][Summary of Single-case Findings for C2][Theme 2: Mission change and curriculum changes after merger][Summary of Single-case Findings for C3][Cross-Case Analysis][Chapter Four Summary][Research Questions and Findings][Implications for Future Research] and [Implications for Practice]

INTRODUCTION

  • Globalization, particularly globalization empowered by technical innovation, has changed the way businesses, governments, and schools operate.
  • These questions shaped the liberal arts curriculum through the middle ages to the present.
  • Recent general education studies in higher education revealed that there are varying approaches to the general education curriculum.
  • Brint et al. suggested that the traditional liberal arts model is derived from status cultures; the core distribution model is derived from organizational compromises; and the civic/utilitarian model is derived from a political initiative and labor market incentives.

Significance of the Study

  • The presence of educational mergers in the literature is not new; however, the historic trend of mergers between small community colleges and small technical schools to become comprehensive community colleges has not been thoroughly studied.
  • The 1950s brought more occupational/technical courses into the college curriculum.
  • Arthur Cohen (1992) , a well known researcher of community college curriculum, conducted the most comprehensive curriculum studies over several decades to determine the state of the liberal arts curriculum.
  • His most recent study was conducted in the 1990s.
  • For the community colleges in this study, mergers with technical colleges were new or not yet completed at the time of Cohen's study; thus, the impact of the merger on the liberal arts curriculum could not be fully recognized if the effects of merger take nearly 10 years to develop.

Definition of Terms

  • "A diverse family of instructional strategies designed to more seamlessly link the learning of foundational skills and academic or occupational content by focusing teaching and learning squarely on concrete applications in a specific context that is of interest to the student" (Mazzeo, 2003; p.4) .
  • In thought and action, it makes the world a single place.

Study Limitations

  • This study has limitations which may affect its transferability.
  • Two or three cases may not show the interactivity between programs and their situations.
  • One limitation is the restricted research sample.
  • Because qualitative research is subjective, the findings may not be reflective of reasons for changes in liberal arts courses in other community colleges.
  • One limitation determined during data collection was that many faculty members who experienced the merger were retired, especially the technical program faculty, so this limited the number of participants who could speak about the merger.

Summary

  • In sum, the mission of community colleges in the 21 st century has changed from the mission during their inception in the industrial era.
  • Today, state policy-makers, boards, and administrators, calling for more efficiency, accountability, and the development of a quick and responsive curriculum, promote a business model approach to running community colleges, including the curriculum (Levin, 2001; 2006) .
  • With those mergers, attempts to marry community and technical college curriculums created challenges.
  • As the mission changed to emphasize workforce development, faculty members worry about the narrowing of the curriculum and a shrinking liberal arts curriculum.
  • Chapter one introduces the research study, including its purpose, significance, theoretical framework, key definitions, and limitations.

LITERATURE REVIEW

  • Today, community colleges are bearing the burden of increased demands from external constituents to educate the masses with more accountability for learning outcomes and higher transfer rates, all while dealing with reduced funding from state and federal governments.
  • In several states, mergers between community colleges and technical colleges, that had very different missions, were driven by state legislative mandates.
  • The overarching question the researcher intended to address was:.
  • The trivium included knowledge in grammar, logic, and rhetoric.
  • To develop the framework for this study, literature on mergers, globalization and vocationalization of community colleges, the growing emphasis on the workforce development mission in community colleges, and curricular trends in the liberal arts are included.

Globalization Theory

  • One outcome of the pressures created by globalization is described by some scholars (Giroux, 1999; Bragg, 2001) as the "vocationalization" of higher education.
  • Further, the studies inform community college administrators and external constituents about faculty oppositional issues surrounding the corporatization of education and their concern that the curriculum is being narrowed and eroded as the emphasis remains on workforce development.
  • The Marxist Instrumentalists believe the elite, with business interests, dominate and strive to secure taxpayer-subsidized worker training and to maintain an educational gap between the classes.
  • A larger percentage of higher socioeconomic status students graduate and migrate into the workforce perpetuating the class reproduction system.
  • These trends are important to this study, because as the community college mission changes toward economic communities and away from local communities, policy-makers and administrators view students as commodities and curriculums are narrowed, the historical concept of community colleges as "democracy's college" may be lost (Diekhoff, 1950; Dougherty, 2002) .

Mergers in Higher Education

  • The trend has gained momentum over the past two decades as a means of addressing issues of credit transfer, duplication, efficiency, and fiscal accountability; however, reasons for merger may vary from one situation to another.
  • Knowledge about the more intimate human implications of mergers can offer insight into the emotional aspects of the merger, which include the fears and concerns staff and faculty members experience before, during, and after a major organizational change over which they have little control.
  • Van Wagoner (2004) surveyed 510 professional staff in 12 community colleges, in a single state community college system, to examine the influence of certain factors on their perception of organizational change.
  • The older group has greater concern about the quality of education declining while faculty members age 35 and under were concerned about job security.

Summary.

  • Mergers in higher education occur to increase efficiency and academic offerings, eliminate credit transfer barriers and turf battles, and to allow stronger governmental control for accountability.
  • As education is restructured to reflect a more business approach to education, and to meet demands for efficiency, accountability and flexibility, workforce development remains a dominant focus of the community college mission.
  • When the researcher interviewed faculty members from the original community college, she learned that the curriculum process very early on in the college's existence, was not representative of all divisions.
  • This faculty member elaborated on his story indicating that he felt the curriculum process was more of a top-down approach and faculty members on that committee tend to passively agree with the academic dean, which minimizes the importance of faculty ownership of the curriculum.
  • Again, there are differences between the two unions, so reimbursement may not be equal for all.

Increasing Emphasis on Workforce Development

  • In 2000, the American Association of Community Colleges, stated "Community colleges should view the preparation and development of the nation's workforce as a primary part of their mission and communicate to policymakers the uniqueness of the community college role" (p. 8).
  • According to Townsend and Wilson (2006) , community colleges are working more closely with four-year colleges to improve transferability through course and state level articulation agreements, and building career pathways for both transfer and occupational/teclmical programs.
  • The implication of this push toward transfer of degrees, previously considered terminal, is that occupational/technical programs contain fewer general education courses than the transfer degrees; therefore, transfer students may lack the exposure to higher order skill development found in liberal arts courses which could put them in a disadvantaged position for success at the four-year college.
  • If community colleges emphasize occupational degrees and workforce training, resulting in the erosion of the liberal arts curriculum, community college occupational/technical students will lack the exposure to higher order intellectual skills historically developed in the liberal arts curriculum and determined as skills needed to become engaged citizens in a democratic society.

Diminishing Liberal Arts Curriculum

  • The educational concept of the liberal arts began through the life of Socrates, the great Greek philosopher.
  • From discussions with her students, the researcher learned that they are exposed to this model in English when they are asked to write an argumentative essay; however, the consistency with which these ideas are taught from class to class may vary.
  • Brewer (1996) who conducted a study with students, faculty and administrators in a community college system, found that all three groups identified communication skills and critical thinking as most important for the graduate to possess.
  • As noted throughout this literature review, there is concern about the condition ofthe liberal arts curriculum as workforce development is emphasized; therefore, it would be remiss not to include studies about trends in the general education and liberal arts curriculum in this chapter.

General Education Approaches

  • General education studies revealed several models used in higher education institutions.
  • One interesting finding was that in three of the liberal arts colleges and one doctoral institution, general education was determined between the student and advisor, assuming that this abstract method of choosing general education courses would result in a more meaningful curriculum for the student.
  • They found that students in colleges with higher rankings in the Us.
  • The fourth model, the civic/utilitarian model, brought the concepts of citizenship and preparing students for business life into the general education curriculum.
  • Nearly fifty percent of the occupational programs, which may be a "terminal" degree for many of these students, offered exposure to knowledge about civic processes and issues.

General Education Reform

  • As indicated in the previous studies on general education, there are varying approaches to the general education curriculum in higher education and not all students experience the same "breadth of knowledge" across the disciplines.
  • Most of the changes during this decade-long study were structural to increase attention to diversity, global issues, interdisciplinary studies and course clustering to enhance coherence.
  • Through another administration survey, Path and Hammons (1999) sought to obtain information about the status of general education in community colleges.
  • Also, all types of community colleges in the study offered general education in a similar manner.
  • Even though the faculty agreed that the reform was necessary and they elected the committee to develop the process, in the end they rejected the process outcome and collegiality suffered.

Connecticut

  • Prior to merger, community colleges, universities, and research universities were all governed by different state-level coordinating boards which, in turn, was governed by a coordinating board.
  • In 1992, the Connecticut General Assembly enacted the Public Act 92-126 which merged community and technical colleges in five areas of Connecticut.
  • The Board of Trustees oversees the governance of the community college system.
  • The college has three off-campus instructional sites.
  • To accomplish their mission, the college encourages lifelong learning, serves as a resource for organizations and people within the college's service area, emphasizes critical thinking, and contributes to the economic development of the region and state.

Three Rivers Community and Technical

  • Instead of pushing a full-fledged restructuring, a pilot plan was developed to merge vocational and academic curricula at Nunez Community College in 1992.
  • This merger was viewed a success and became a model for a statewide community college system.
  • Manning (2004) cited the State Relative Autonomy Theory (Dougherty, 1994) , mentioned earlier in this chapter as the theoretical framework for the development of LCTCS.
  • In addition to this board, there is a Board of Regents for Higher Education which is a 16 member board responsible for coordinating higher education in the state (Louisiana Community and Technical College System).
  • The community and technical college mission is to improve the life of citizens through educational programs at their colleges.

Chapter Two Summary

  • Since their evolution in the 1960s, community colleges and technical colleges continue to morph to meet demographic, economic, and political changes.
  • Some state governments mandated mergers to address fiscal issues and curriculum duplication between community and technical colleges.
  • Community college students, especially those in occupational/technical programs, may not experience the full "breadth and depth" of knowledge that transfer students, and their baccalaureate counterparts may experience through exposure to liberal arts courses.
  • A variety of theories and research methods evolved throughout the literature review.
  • The most common methodology for studying curriculum trends in community colleges, including the studies dating back to the early 1900s, was through the analysis of college catalogs (Schulyer, 1999) .

METHODOLOGY

  • The growth of the information age and the Internet created a world with no knowledge boundaries.
  • If the curriculum is narrowing, these colleges may be limiting students' exposure to higher order thinking skills often developed in the liberal arts courses.
  • Through a case study approach, the researcher sought to understand how curricular changes are affecting organizational administration and faculty work life; and to understand whether curricular and organizational changes seem to reflect the globalization of the comprehensive community college mission.
  • Constructivist qualitative researchers view the world through relativism or constructed realities.
  • Values playa role in this form of inquiry and the researcher serves as a facilitator of the vocal reconstruction of the study participants.

Multiple Case Study Methodology

  • According to Stake (2006) , in a multiple-case study, theindividual cases should be studied to learn about their self-centering, complexity, and situational uniqueness (pg. 6).
  • For this study, the quintain is curriculum changes occurring in communication and English disciplines since the merger of community and technical colleges.
  • Arranges to study cases in terms of their own situational issues, interprets patterns within each case and then analyzes cross-case findings to make assertions about the concept which binds the cases together (pg. 10).
  • Data collection methods included archival research and interviewing.

Data Collection Methods

  • According to Bogdan and Biklen (2003) , the purpose ofthe interview is "to gather descriptive data in the subjects' own words so that the researcher can develop insights on how subjects interpret some piece of the world" (pg. 95).
  • Once the researcher obtained IRB approval at the University of Louisville, she contacted the community colleges identified in the study proposal to gain entry to interview general education, technical/occupational faculty members, and Chief Academic Officers (CAOs) at the colleges.
  • Upon receiving each faculty member's agreement to participate, the researcher e-mailed the consent form so the participants could review the study objectives and understand their part in the data collection process.
  • Dean, but often they were faculty members before inhabiting their administrative positions, so their knowledge and perspective added richness to the data collected.
  • While developing the interviewing protocol, the researcher kept the question structure and probe-based concept in mind.

Data Analysis

  • Marshall and Rossman (1995) stated that qualitative data analysis is the process of bringing order, structure and meaning to the mass of collected data.
  • One is through the direct interpretation of the individual instance and through the aggregation of the instances until something is determined about them as a whole (p. 74).
  • The case study researcher is trying to find patterns and understanding of the case through studying their contexts, issues, and behaviors (p.78).
  • The researcher undertakes the study to understand the commonalities and differences of the quintain across contexts.
  • As noted earlier in the chapter, each individual case is studied to gain understanding of that particular case in its own situation.

Single Case Analysis

  • To facilitate multiple case analysis Stake (2006) provides a pragmatic approach to data analysis through a series of seven templates.
  • Once this initial analysis was complete, the researcher then placed interview data from each participant under the respective interview question to read the multiple responses for each question.
  • Instead the researcher must engage in a back and forth method of hearing the data so maximum attention is paid to the cases.
  • Throughout this iterative process interpretation plays a significant role in the data analysis process.
  • The researcher listed themes from each case and then identified the themes that occurred across the cases.

Ethical Considerations

  • The qualitative researcher must be sensitive to the participants' willingness to give their time to participate in the study.
  • The researcher must address any ethical issues to insure study participants are protected (Marshall & Rossman, 1995).
  • First, the researcher sent each participant an informed consent form to request their voluntary assistance in the study and to outline the purpose of the study.
  • Second, the researcher kept study participants' names confidential and coded data in ways that protected their identity.
  • Finally, the researcher secured the storage of all research materials to insure no one had access to the information.

Building Trustworthiness

  • The researcher approached this study from a constructivism paradigm.
  • The major aim of this research approach is understanding and reconstruction of mental constructs, elicited and refined through the interaction of the researcher and the study participants and then interpreted through a hermeneutical/dialectical methodology (Guba & Lincoln, 1994) .
  • To address credibility in this study the researcher triangulated data by comparing data from faculty and administrator interviews as well as archival documents to corroborate study findings.
  • Transferability means showing that the findings have applicability in other contexts.
  • Last, to address confirmability, the researcher established an audit trail, triangulated data and engaged in reflexivity.

Chapter Three Summary

  • This chapter provides a view of the methodology and data analysis procedure utilized for this qualitative case study.
  • The purpose of the multiple-case study is to understand the quintain of the cases.
  • To analyze the data, the researcher utilized Stake's (2006) single-case and cross-case analysis to identify similarities and differences between the cases.
  • With any research study there are ethical considerations to protect the study participants; therefore, the researcher sought permission for participation from the study participants through an informed consent form.
  • The chapter concludes with a summary of the findings.

Single-case Analysis

  • Prior to the merger the community colleges were governed by the Board of Trustees of a major state university.
  • Technical colleges were governed by the state Board for Elementary and Secondary Education.
  • Prior to the merger the community colleges were governed by a state-level coordinating board.
  • Each case analysis begins with a description of the case and highlights unique characteristics and findings from that case.
  • I feel like the authors are all having to focus their attention on getting that course taught because I understand that it transfers and that we're not offering as many sections ofthe Interpersonal communication course, COM 252, as a result.

Single-case analysis for

  • In addition to less course variety, in English and communication offerings, participants expressed concern over the diminishing general education in the Associate of Applied Science degrees, which were once considered terminal degrees, but today, these students often transfer to four-year colleges after completing the AAS.
  • When I first got here I thought they [English faculty members] were all over the place.
  • Obviously, their Applied Science students, which means they are going to go into the workforce typically when they graduate.
  • The authors teach students a lot more about critical reading, summarizing, and analysis.

Theme 2 findings: Mission change and curriculum changes after the merger

  • The sub-themes identified under mission change reflected a perception that the community college was more transfer focused before the merger and more workforce development focused today.
  • (p. 6-7) For previous technical college employees, their mission, prior to the merger, emphasized workforce development, but since the merger, they indicated that there is more focus on transfer for them.
  • You know that's probably gone from doing an interpersonal communication to a COM 181 basic public speaking course which is more transferrable to the university level and that's what they need for a nursing program.
  • What people are usually talking about is contextualizing many general education competencies within technical coursework.
  • Successful integration of academic and occupational curriculum still eludes colleges that merged and faculty resistance may be one barrier to successful integration.

Theme 3 findings: Curriculum administrative process after merger

  • For this theme, the major sub-themes identified were (a) the curriculum process is more complex (b) it is more top-down (c) it is an overwhelming amount of work and (d) faculty value having input on local and system-wide curriculum committees.
  • There were two standing committees that were faculty driven and one was the rules and the other was the curriculum, so faculty took great pride I think in trying to be involved in that.
  • Now, since the authors have a unique program that's strictly unique to their college, we're not tied to that group anymore so it's given us the academic freedom they needed.
  • Unlike other committee work, faculty members who had experience on the system-wide curriculum committees perceived their work on that committee as valuable.
  • The data under theme three illuminated a faculty perception that the curriculum administrative process, prior to merger, was straightforward but today it is much more complex.

Theme 4 findings: Conflict

  • Under the conflict theme, several data clustered under four areas: (a) loss and erosion (b) faculty/administration relations (c) integration and (d) anti-system.
  • Where participants perceive that it most impacts them is through the administration's decision to cancel classes due to low enrollment, and through limited resources for professional development.
  • Divisions with Perkins allocations, those with technical programs, or those in disciplines supported by Title III grant initiatives have more funding for professional development.
  • It is my sense that maybe faculty are not traveling and doing as much of that professional development as they once were.
  • Faculty members, such as (CI35) expressed his perception: I used to teach creative writing and I had quite a bit, well I would usually make the class, but the classes would no longer make and I think part of that is the economy and what is going on there.

A program faculty member (C126) stated:

  • Before the authors merged my primary responsibility was teaching.
  • Respondents perceive that their work is growing due to the influx of underprepared students who require more remedial work.
  • Also, they were used to teaching the general education portion of the program in addition to their program content.
  • Two major conflicts occurred during the merger for the nursing program.
  • Also, faculty members perceive they are working harder and administration is detached from the work of faculty.

Summary of Single-case Findings for Cl

  • In summary, for C 1 the interview data indicated that the course variety in English and communication has diminished since the merger, which creates some frustration for faculty members in those disciplines.
  • General education faculty members felt the mission prior to merger was more transfer focused, but emphasizes workforce development now.
  • Faculty sense losses due to budget constraints, which make it more difficult to engage in meaningful professional development and impacts the administrations' decision to limit course offerings.
  • The second college, C2, merged with the technical college in 1992.
  • Over the past two years the college has seen significant enrollment growth due to an influx of students coming from a nearby major city.

Theme 1 findings: Curriculum changes in English and communication after the merger

  • Much like the findings of the previous case study, findings under theme one revealed a perception that course offerings in English and communication have diminished.
  • (C220) describes the course content: "Well with grading it is holistic grammar, content, everything.
  • Last fall the authors started talking about it and they are trying to make changes for this fall coming, changing books, you know changing some of their methods.
  • The researcher reviewed catalogs from the year after the merger and the most Now since then, slowly but surely over the time I have been here, speech has been eliminated from certain programs.
  • Furthermore, the general education courses have diminished in the AAS programs.

Theme 2findings: Mission change and curriculum changes after merger

  • The majority of the responses to interview questions under this theme, indicated that the community college grew out bfthe technical emphasis on the 13 th and 14th grade at a local high school, therefore, the primary emphasis is, and has been, workforce development.
  • Another issue related to the student body was classroom management issues, which seem to be more problematic for many faculty members.
  • The college chief academic officer commented on this issue:.
  • One consequence of Hurricane Katrina was that the college had to furlough some faculty.
  • The researcher sensed an overall strong student/faculty relationship.

Summary of Single-case Findings for C2

  • In summary, C2 findings suggested that offerings in English and communication have diminished in both the variety of course offerings and in the AAS program curriculums.
  • For faculty work life, large composition classes, and a lack of a standard course numbering system, emerged as relevant sub-themes under this major theme.
  • A review of the 2010 catalog revealed that there are 15 English courses and three speech courses in the college catalog.
  • The authors college is different from others in the system.
  • In their effort to detelmine if general education courses are meeting those general education outcomes, the committee members are gathering artifacts from general education faculty members to determine if they are meeting those outcomes.

Theme 2: Mission change and curriculum changes after merger

  • The theme two findings revealed that most faculty members see workforce and transfer as equally important to their mission.
  • One program faculty member (C339) said: Within my degree program, I have lots of ors, this course or that course, and then I have that broken up into advising tools for terminal and transfer.
  • So, I mean honestly, what are mission currently is, the authors don't know what the mission a year or two from now will be.
  • From the two quotes above, it appears that there is uncertainty about what the governance change will mean for this college and the impact the change will have on the college's mission and curriculum process.

Summary of Single-case Findings for C3

  • The findings at C3 indicated that the English and communication faculty are working to bring coherence to courses in their disciplines.
  • C3 is also unique because the English II course is comprised of poetry, fiction and drama, which is unlike other colleges.
  • The faculty is perceived as being dedicated to the community college mission, despite frustration with the changing student demographics.
  • For now, the curriculum committee is comprised of division chairs and the academic dean.
  • Clusters of conflict issues surrounded merger issues, students, and management.

Cross-Case Analysis

  • After completing the single-case analysis for each college, the researcher reviewed the findings from each case to determine similarities and differences between the cases.
  • The third case, C3, interview data revealed that newer faculty members saw the process as more faculty driven, but faculty members who experienced the merger felt the curriculum process was more top-down to represent the influence ofthe technical college approach to curriculum.
  • My sense is that the dean says "Here look at this and we're going to go for this".
  • Also, a nursing faculty member stated that she is working with the student success coordinator to create a study skills class, which emphasizes critical thinking, for the nursing students.
  • Faculty members expressed frustration with the growing younger student population.

Chapter Four Summary

  • In summary, the study findings illuminated that the curriculum revisions have been to create more coherence from course to course through reducing textbook options, creating grading rubrics and identifying student learning outcomes and assessments.
  • One area of curriculum that continues to present tension between academic and technical/occupational faculty members is the integration of the two curriculums.
  • Since the merger, general education courses have been added to the AAS curriculums and are more recently being removed again.
  • In those colleges, faculty members felt the administration was distant from the work of faculty and has adopted a more technical college approach to management.
  • Retirements and hiring new faculty members assisted with cultural change.

Research Questions and Findings

  • This finding supports research by Brint, Riddle, Turk-Bicakci, and Levy (2005) who suggested that the emphasis on workforce readiness and removal of the liberal arts curriculum create unequal footing for community college graduates.
  • Faculty members expressed frustration in their students' ability to "get it".
  • They would like to see greater career application to academic curriculum content.

Implications for Future Research

  • This study demonstrates that changes are occurring in the liberal arts curriculum in community colleges that have merged with technical colleges.
  • Related to the finding that the curriculum is shrinking was another finding that general education faculty members are concerned about the shrinking teaching variety.
  • As general education courses are limited in the community college curriculums, these students may start their Bachelor's degrees behind students who started their education at the four-year college in terms of their general education exposure.
  • Since there are community colleges in the country that merged before the colleges in this study merged, these colleges might provide greater insight about effective curriculum integration strategies.
  • Many of the overriding issues of conflict around the merger involved initial fears that faculty members on both sides of the merger experienced.

Implications for Practice

  • Since the trend to merge community and technical colleges continues throughout the United States, community college leadership could benefit from knowing the positive and negatives associated with mergers.
  • Perhaps meeting in small groups with a combination of faculty and staff from both sides of the merger to provide information directly to them could reduce some fears and help to facilitate the integration of the two faculties.
  • Also, at times when the budget constraints are high and morale is low, it is especially important for college administrators to communicate with faculty members and acknowledge their work on a personal level.
  • Another significant study finding was that the demographics of the student body at community colleges have changed.
  • Community college leaders need to ensure that they remain cognizant of the implications of these changing demographics and the impact the changes have on instruction.

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Book
21 Nov 1997
Abstract: 1. Foundations of Qualitative Research in Education: An Introduction. Characteristics of Qualitative Research. Traditions of Qualitative Research. Theoretical Underpinnings. Ten Common Questions About Qualitative Research. Ethics. What Is to Come. 2. Research Design. Choosing a Study. Case Studies. Multi-Site Studies. Additional Issues Related to Design. Concluding Remarks. 3. Fieldwork. Gaining Access. First Days in the Field. The Participant/Observer Continuum. Doing Fieldwork in Another Culture. Researcher Characteristics and Special Problems with Rapport. Be Discreet. Research in Politically Charged and Conflict-Ridden Settings. Feelings. How Long Should an Observation Session Be? Interviewing. Visual Recording and Fieldwork. Triangulation. Leaving the Field. 4. Qualitative Data. Some Friendly Advice. Fieldnotes. The Process of Writing Fieldnotes. Transcripts from Taped Interviews. Documents. Photography. Official Statistics and Other Quantitative Data. Concluding Remarks. 5. Data Analysis. Analysis in the Field. Analysis After Data Collection. The Mechanics of Working with Data. Concluding Remarks. 6. Writing It Up. Writing Choices. More Writing Tips. Criteria for Evaluating Writing. Texts. A Final Point About Getting Started. 7. Applied Qualitative Research for Education. Evaluation and Policy Research. Action Research. Practitioner Uses of Qualitative Research. Appendix A. Examples of Observational Questions for Educational Settings. Appendix B. Examples of Fieldnotes. Glossary. References. Index.

12,641 citations


Book
20 Oct 2005
Abstract: Part I: Single Cases. Situation and Experience. A Technical View of a Case. The Quintain. The Case-Quintain Dilemma. The Research Questions. The Particular and the General. The Contexts. Making the Individual Case Report. Part II: The Multicase Study. Staffing. Selecting Cases. Activity in Its Situation. Data Gathering across Cases . Triangulation within Cases. Part III: Cross-Case Analysis. Rationale. Reading the Collection. Cross-Case Procedure. Expected Utility of Cases and Ordinariness of Situations. The Grounds for Assertions. Cross-Case Assertions. Triangulation across Cases. Part IV: The Report. Planning the Multicase Report. Comparing Cases. Advocacy. Generalization. Part V: The Step by Step Case Study Project. The Open Society Institute and the International Step by Step Association. The Step by Step Approach. Previous Step by Step evaluations. Aims of the Step by Step Multicase Project. Developing Case Topics. Action Research. Themes for Cross-Case Analysis. The Teams and the Steering Group. Training the Case Researchers. Three Step by Step Case Studies. Part VI: The Ukraine Case Study. Part VII: The Slovakia Case Study. Part VIII: The Romania Case Study. Part IX: Step by Step Cross-Case Analysis: First Steps.

3,910 citations


Book
09 May 2001
Abstract: Introduction Globalization and the community college The Cases: Seven Colleges in Two Nations The Domains of Globalization: The Economic Domain, the Cultural Domain The Information Domain The Domain of Politics The Process of Globalization What Remains Behind: The Community College in the 21st Century

239 citations


BookDOI
01 Jan 2001

162 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: One of the most important changes in American higher education over the last 30 years has been the gradual shrinking of the old arts and sciences core of undergraduate education and the expansion of occupational and professional programs. Occupational fields have accounted for approximately 60% of bachelors’ degrees in recent years, up from 45% in the 1960s, and hundreds of institutions now award 80% or more of their degrees in these fields (Brint, 2001) The arts and sciences originated historically for the pursuit of knowledge “for its own sake” and, simultaneously, as the educational foundation for youths preparing to occupy positions of power and influence in society. They include the basic fields of science and scholarship, such as chemistry, economics, history, literature, mathematics, philosophy, and political science. By contrast, programs in occupational fields are designed to educate students for jobs—in business, education, engineering, nursing, public administration, and many others. These applied programs are often housed in their own professional schools or colleges distinct from colleges of arts and sciences. In this paper, we will sometimes refer to these programs collectively as the “practical arts,” a term

156 citations