Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Creating an effective educational environment for adult learners: A qualitative, multi-case study of off-campus center administrator's use of invitational leadership
by McKnight, Carolyn P., Ed.D., University of Missouri - Columbia, 2012, 202; 3576092
Abstract (Summary)

This qualitative, multi-case study was designed to examine off-campus centers and their administrators in creating an effective learning environment for adult learners. Serving as the conceptual framework, invitational leadership theory is a holistic approach which nurtures the belief that everyone is intrinsically motivated and it is the leaders’ responsibility to unleash their true potential (Purkey & Siegel, 2003). The researcher utilized invitational leadership theory as lens to analyze off-campus center administrators to understand the perceptions of faculty, students, and staff on the four characteristics: trust, respect, optimism, and intentionality within the five environments: people, places, policies, programs, and processes (Novak & Purkey, 2001).

A qualitative, multi-case approach was selected to expand the perceptions of off-campus center stakeholders when addressing “…a problem or issue” (Creswell, 2003, p. 40). The off-campus centers analyzed were located in Midwestern States and the universities were classified as Masters Universities and Colleges by the Carnegie Foundation. The study’s populations consisted of three off-campus center administrators and their supervisors, faculty, students and staff. Data was collected and triangulated through interviews, focus groups, observations and historical material (Creswell, 2003). Through data analysis, three themes emerged: 1) Intense Collaboration, with subthemes of: a) Quorum of Stakeholders, b) Distributive Responsibility; and 2) Motivational Influence, with subtheme of: a) Optimism, and b) Intention; and 3) Inherited Sense of Kinship subthemes of: a) Dispensation of the Patron, and b) Ambiance Conducive for Erudition.

From the research, conclusions derived from the finding indicated: the off-campus center administrators’ practices were consistent with invitational leadership characteristics; the environments were created to serve the adult learner; and there is a continuous need for transparency between their main campuses and the off-campus centers. These results provide further insight into the implications and recommendations on creating a successful off-campus center.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Martin, Barbara
Commitee: Bigby, Linda, Hutchinson, Sandra, Thomas, Doug
School: University of Missouri - Columbia
Department: Educational Leadership and Policy
School Location: United States -- Missouri
Source: DAI-A 75/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Higher Education Administration, Educational leadership, Continuing education
Keywords: Adult learners, Collaboration, Distance learning, Invitational leadership, Midwestern states, Off-campus center, Satellite campus
Publication Number: 3576092
ISBN: 978-1-303-55365-3
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