Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A cost -effectiveness analysis of two community college baccalaureate programs in Florida: An exploratory study
by Bemmel, Edwin P., Ph.D., Florida Atlantic University, 2008, 168; 3338441
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this case study was to determine which, if any, alternative in delivering baccalaureate programs in the state of Florida was the most cost-effective one. This exploratory study focused on gaining an understanding of the cost effectiveness of two baccalaureate programs offered at a Florida community college to two like programs at a Florida university using qualitative and quantitative methodologies.

The researcher interviewed five community college and three State Department of Education administrators during the Fall of 2007 and analyzed expenditure and effectiveness data from 2003-04 through 2006-07 to determine the cost effectiveness for the programs at each institution.

The study revealed that the university and community college programs were equally effective as measured by student graduation and test scores. The community college baccalaureate programs were more cost effective, however, using a formula of per-student state funding combined with student cost. The lower per-student funding and student tuition charged resulted in the community college baccalaureate being a less expensive alternative of offering baccalaureate degrees to the state and the students.

Using Henry Levin's ingredients model of measuring cost effectiveness, the quantitative analysis of the study revealed that the university programs were more cost effective in the early years, but the differences diminished over time. Using Levin's model for comparison, the researcher concluded that increased growth in the enrollment of the programs combined with the implementation of effectiveness measures comparable to those of the university would render baccalaureate programs at the community colleges more cost effective.

Conclusions based on the formula of state and student cost were based on factual data, while conclusions based on Levin's ingredients model were based on assumptions and estimates using a weighting factor along with an indirect cost rate for Proxim University. The study identified factors other than the cost effectiveness that could make the community college baccalaureate a more attractive alternative and concluded with recommendations for practice, policy, and future research.

Differences in state and local laws, or economic, geographical, and environmental differences combined with the nature of this exploratory case study limit the generalizability of the results of this study.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Floyd, Deborah L., Bryan, Valerie C.
School: Florida Atlantic University
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-A 69/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Community college education, Higher education
Keywords: Community college baccalaureate, Community colleges, Cost effectiveness, Cost-effectiveness analysis, Florida, Florida community colleges, Higher education finance, Two-year colleges offering baccalaureate degrees
Publication Number: 3338441
ISBN: 978-0-549-93010-5
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