To improve educational opportunities within communities, schools, universities, and neighborhood organizations are establishing educational partnerships. Research suggests these partnerships are one of the most promising ways to expand, enhance, and improve educational opportunities within communities. The rationale for this study was the dearth of research on the development process of educational partnerships from the community leaders' perspective. The researcher assumed that institutional leadership played a decisive role in partnership formation. Therefore, this qualitative case study explored the perceptions of community leaders involved in the development of an educational partnership. The purposefully selected sample comprised 14 community leaders who participated in the development of a community learning partnership (CLP) formed in 2008 between a university, local K-12 public and private schools, and community organizations. The primary data collection method was an open-ended questionnaire conducted with use of an electronic survey. Supportive methods included archival data from meeting minutes, emails, needs assessment, and a website; all data were collected prior to the study. The data were coded and organized according to the research questions and theoretical framework of the study. Participant responses revealed six common themes that were analyzed and synthesized based on three analytic categories: creating, maintaining, and sustaining a CLP. Six common themes emerged: (a) Create a Stronger Community, (b) Leadership and Advocacy, (c) A Spirit of Collaboration, (d) Leveraging Resources, (e) Logistics and School Cultures, and (f) Build on the Foundation. Effective partnership strategies, as stated in the research literature, were apparent during the creation phase of the CLP and led to the definition of mutually determined partnership goals. Recommendations are offered for practitioners and for further research to contribute to the knowledge base for K-16 educational administrators, policy makers, nonprofit educational organizations, and community leaders as they seek to enhance educational outcomes within their neighborhoods. Given the unique characteristics of each community, the recommendations put forth may be considered for their appropriateness with each individual partnership.
|Advisor:||McCrink, Carmen L.|
|Commitee:||Dezek, Jack, Piper, Terry, Whitford, Heidi|
|School:||Barry University - Adrian Dominican School of Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Florida|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Higher Education Administration|
|Keywords:||Collaboration, Community leaders, University-school-community partnership|
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