Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Workforce Education and Development
BARRY RAY HANCOCK, for the Doctor of Philosophy degree in WORKFORCE EDUCATION AND DEVELOPMENT, presented on May 9, 2011, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. TITLE: PERCEPTIONS OF ILLINOIS COMMUNITY COLLEGE ADMINISTRATORS ON THE IMPACT OF THE U.S. ECONOMIC RECESSION AND STATE FINANCIAL PRESSURES ON PROGRAMS FOR ADULTS MAJOR PROFESSOR: Dr. John S. Washburn The United States economic recession is now in its third year and continues to have a serious impact on the American higher education system, including Illinois' public community colleges. Illinois community colleges are seeing increases in enrollments while at the same time seeing significant decreases in state funding. The purpose of this study was to provide data leading to a systematic understanding of how Illinois community college continuing education programs are delivered in the 21st Century. The analysis included survey data from community colleges presidents and continuing education program managers (CEPMs) and interview data from three presidents and three CEPMs representing urban, suburban and rural community colleges. Several findings and conclusions were discovered as a result of this study, including: (1) respondents indicated offering courses which do not meet profit expectations, but they do and should continue to because they are testing or building new curriculum, (2) primary state funding sources are inadequate and unreliable and secondary funding options, such as grants, endowments, and donations are used to support programs, (3) financial pressures are having an adverse effect on continuing education departments and their budgets, (4) approximately 35% of the state community colleges' enrollment can be attributed to continuing education enrollments, yet most colleges only allocate 1-10% of their institutional budgets to this purpose, (5) about one-quarter of the respondents do not feel their colleges' continuing education program is prepared for the influx of senior citizens. Several general recommendations were made, including dissemination of study results to state associations, community college presidents and CEPMs. The study concludes with recommendations for practice for presidents and CEPMs as well as recommendations for further research.
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