Date of Award
Master of Science in Education
Workforce Education and Development
AN ABSTRACT OF THESIS OF Susan D. Sipes, for the Masters of Science degree in Workforce Education and Development, presented on October 11, 2010, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. TITLE: ONE CONSORTIUM, TWO POPULATIONS: WHAT IT TAKES TO SUCCEED MAJOR PROFESSORS: Dr. Marcia Anderson and Dr. Beth Winfrey-Freeburg University consortia have existed for over 50 years as a practical solution to increase regional access to higher education and control costs. The challenge has been to determine how to measure the effectiveness of consortia in order to predict their success. The goal was to apply a business case to UCLC, treating students as customers, and administrators as business owners. Throughout the literature, much has been written to define the critical operational characteristics of successful consortia, but little has been done to explore the needs of consortia's customers. This work presents a compilation of operational characteristics with services desired by students in order to predict the success of one newer consortium, the University Center of Lake County in IL (UCLC). The characteristics and services of existing successful consortia were gleaned from the literature and a written survey instrument was developed. Students and administrators at UCLC were surveyed; their responses were compared to data extracted from other research using descriptive statistics and a chi-squared test. Results showed that UCLC exhibits many of the most important operational characteristics to be successful. Practical recommendations are provided to UCLC to further explore how to improve student services. For example, UCLC needs to increase its marketing and advertising efforts. Other consortia will be able to repeat the surveys to learn more about their operations and service levels.
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