Strategic planning decisions and determinations in higher education present significant challenges even during relatively uneventful economic periods. In times of economic turbulence, the only predictable factor is a constantly diminishing funding base. Community colleges in particular are affected most directly and immediately by downturns in the economy. They are the designated sites for displaced worker retraining, a lower cost option for students priced out of four-year colleges and universities, and a last-chance opportunity for underprepared students. The community college Chief Academic Officer (CAO) carries out the instructional mission of the institution, and in that capacity determines the instructional activities that the institution will provide. When funding is limited and demands are increased on all levels, determinations of instructional direction and scope dictate how the institution can and will respond to the community's needs. Using a qualitative emerging theory approach, the goal of this study was to discover how Michigan community college CAOs would address these demands. The findings revealed that while none of the CAOs expressed any desire or intent at that time to abandon any of the instructional tasks that their institutions were currently performing, all acknowledged that any additional tasks that their institutions would assume, by necessity, had to be limited in scope.
|School:||University of Phoenix|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 71/03, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Community college education, Educational leadership, Education Policy, Higher education|
|Keywords:||Academic priorities, Chief academic officers, Community college, Higher education: strategic planning, Michigan, Policy analysis|
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