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Title:Impact of a Shift in National Public Policy on Continuing Education Administration in Institutions of Higher Education
Author(s):Weichenthal, Phyllis Bonner
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Administration
Abstract:This nation-wide research project analyzed the impact of the 1976 shift (hereafter called The Shift) in Title I Part A of the Higher Education Act and what was implemented under it. The study population included 60 public institutions of higher education in 21 states throughout the continental United States (1) which the 1976 shift was intended to impact and (2) which, according to their respective state plans on record at the Bureau of Higher and Continuing Education, were at the time offering continuing education programs directly resulting from the federal policy shift.
This naturalistic, exploratory study was designed to answer the broad-aim question: "When a shift in Title I Part A (Section 101 a, 2) is introduced, what then happens in continuing education administration in public institutions of higher education; why; and with what consequences?"
The study was conducted in three phases. Phase One: a pilot study at six public institutions of higher education within a 150-mile radius of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Phase Two: a mail questionnaire directed to the "major administrator most knowledgeable about and most responsible for the continuing education offered" by each institution in the study population (N = 60). Phase Three: a telephone probe using elite and specialized interviews. Ninety percent of the total population, or 54 institutions, provided useable data.
Major study findings, derived from quantitative and qualitative data analysis, included the following: (1) The shift in Title I Part A was a mutation of the original legislation rather than a substantive change in it. The Shift brought clarification to the original intent of Title I (HEA, 1965). (2) The term "community" as used in the original legislation could be interpreted as having a dual meaning which some who were involved in Title I activities seem to have recognized; others, seemingly did not. Community could be a "geographic place" or a group of individuals "who share some common interest or function." The clarification brought about by The Shift made the latter definition more explicit. Thus, institutions which had previously been unaware that they could utilize or were unable to utilize Title I to develop and/or expand their continuing education activities were more able to use Title I as amended in 1976 to develop and/or expand their continuing education activities. (3) Two differentiated kinds of impact were identified in relation to The Shift: Anticipatory Impact and Subsequential Impact. Anticipatory Impact included consequences or changes that occurred within the system or for participants under consideration prior to The Shift. Subsequential Impact included consequences or changes that occurred within the system or for participants under consideration after and as a result of The Shift. (4) In general, the Anticipatory Impact occurred in the larger, older, land-grant institutions. (5) In general, the Subsequential Impact occurred in the smaller, non-land-grant institutions. In institutions in which Subsequential Impact occurred, almost all of the actual and anticipated changes or consequences were functional. (6) Major continuing education administrators differed significantly in institutions where Anticipatory Impact occurred when compared with major continuing education administrators in institutions where Subsequential Impact occurred. These differences were in the areas of (a) perception of their respective roles, (b) familiarity with the change(s) brought about by the policy shift, and (c) extent of involvement with policy at an institutional, state, and national level. (7) Major continuing education administrators tended to rely heavily on their own professional experience in dealing with policy. However, in identifying and analyzing national public policy in relation to their own institutions, they ranked reading (literature, journals, papers) as most helpful to them.
Issue Date:1980
Description:223 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1980.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8026615
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-12
Date Deposited:1980

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