While high profile colleges are becoming increasingly selective and garnering huge endowments, many lesser known small, private colleges are fighting for survival. A number of these colleges have experienced significant decline, but have rallied to meet the challenge and ultimately survived. Using a qualitative meta-study methodology, this research examined the revitalization process used by 45 small, private colleges.
Models were developed for both the state of decline and the process of revitalization. Decline is illustrated as a cyclical process. As enrollment and finances weaken, small colleges are forced to respond in ways that continue and even exacerbate the decline resulting in a series of on-going cycles.
The revitalization model demonstrates the process of breaking the cycles to reverse their momentum. It is not a linear process; instead it is a seemly haphazard mix of activities that impact finances and enrollment either directly or indirectly. Revitalization is often simply a matter of trying as many things as possible, as quickly as possible, until something works.
The revitalization process was unique to each college's situation but some useful observations did emerge. For instance, a breakdown of governance responsibilities and structures seems to have a more devastating effect on a small college than it might in a larger institution. A more involved Board of Trustees and the development of widely accepted communication and decision making structures were a key part of revitalization. These academic offerings. Cutting budgets, cutting programs, or narrowing their niche were not solutions for these colleges, at least not in isolation. The study results did not necessarily advocate trying to “be all things to all people”, but these colleges did need to find ways to “be more things to more people”. Finally, these colleges found that increasing enrollment was a function of the entire college, not just the admissions office. The admissions function was only successful when the college took steps to enhance program offerings, upgrade facilities, improve image and develop strategic partnerships.
|School:||Colorado State University|
|School Location:||United States -- Colorado|
|Source:||DAI-A 70/02, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||School administration, Higher education|
|Keywords:||Change, College revitalization, College survival, College turnaround, Private colleges, Small colleges|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be