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Title:Continuing Professional Education Centers for Ministry, Law, Education and Health Professions: An Analysis of the Relationship Between Organizations and Their Environments
Author(s):Belsheim, David John
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Adult and Continuing
Abstract:The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between continuing professional education centers and their environments. For this study, a continuing professional education center was defined as an organization or unit designed to accomplish a continuing education function for practitioners in a particular profession.
The literature on administration of adult education agencies and on the sociology of organizations provided a framework for the analysis of continuing professional education center environments. Following an inductive study utilizing personal interviews for data collection, a mail questionnaire was developed and sent to a national, random sample of continuing professional education centers in four professions: education, medicine, ministry and law. One hundred eighty-four center directors returned the questionnaire for a 76% cooperation rate.
Findings identified four alternate patterns of operation for continuing professional education centers. These patterns, defined by the learning formats and needs assessment approaches used by a center, reflected a service orientation, an education orientation and two patterns which were combinations of these orientations. It was found that these patterns of operation varied in a systematic way with environmental influences. For example, service oriented continuing professional education centers were found to have a greater percent of operation funds from external grants, more support resources (e.g., bookkeeping, printing, etc.) from the parent organization and more contact with practitioners than did education oriented centers. Staff characteristics of service oriented centers included more staff with experience as practitioners. On the other hand, education oriented centers had environments in which there were practitioners whose professional association exercises greater influence on them, greater competition from other continuing professional education providers, a larger geographic area to be served and a more informal relationship with their parent organization. These are critical areas for policy makers and administrators as they consider the role of centers in promoting professional growth and learning among practitioners.
Issue Date:1982
Description:174 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1982.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8209544
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1982

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