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Title:Planning Practices of Administrators in Continuing Higher Education
Author(s):Rink, Patricia Ann
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Adult and Continuing
Abstract:Continuing education administrators in colleges and universities have indicated a growing awareness of the need for effective planning. As the topic of planning has gained prominence, so have discussions of strategic planning. It is frequently presented to continuing higher education administrators as a means of defining organizational mission and goals and achieving planned development. However, many strategic planning models involve the use of a highly structured, formal planning process. Little has been known about whether these models provide a realistic decision-making tool for continuing higher education administrators.
Utilizing grounded theory methodology, this study sought to investigate, describe, and draw generalizations about ways in which successful continuing education administrators plan for their organizations. A peer nomination process was used to identify seven exemplary deans of continuing education in midwestern universities. Data for the study were gathered primarily through interviews with the deans and members of their staffs and through content analysis of related documents.
The study found that planning is not the formal, sequential process typically depicted in the literature. The data also refuted the notion that the result of planning must be a "plan," a document prescribing specific actions within a given time frame. Planning occurred continuously as administrators assessed what was going on around them and considered the implications for the organization's short-term and long-term development. Administrators viewed the result of their planning as a consensus among continuing education staff about the organization's appropriate mission and major goals and their roles in helping achieve them.
Efforts by administrators to plan shared four essential elements: (a) a strong sense of continuing education's mission as it relates to both the parent institution and the external environment, (b) continual information gathering about the institution and the environment, (c) establishment of broad goals that indicate the organization's key priorities of thrusts, and (d) a constant search for opportunities consistent with organizational goals.
Issue Date:1987
Description:146 p.
Thesis (Educat.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1987.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8711863
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1987

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