Master's Theses


Advanced Education Programs

Degree Name

Education Specialist (Ed.S)


The purpose of this research was to present a qualitative study interpreting the perceptions of North Central Association Self Study participants and implementers at a Midwestern community college regarding 29 substantive institutional changes which occurred during a seven-year period following completion of the Self Study. Using the researcher as a primary participant-observer of the changes during that seven-year period, together with a four-option perception survey of the changes administered to 25 major participants and/or implementers of the Self Study, and the interviewee's explanatory comments about their perceptions, the researcher concluded that the Self Study's participants and implementers perceived that the Study's plans of action had not provided a very clear or accurate vision of the directions taken by the college following completion of the study. Subjects interviewed for this study included 24 present or former college staff members, and one former trustee who had served on the Board for 20 years, all of whom had been actively involved in preparing or implementing the Study's five plans of action for college improvement. This sample was not randomized but selected specifically for its presumed knowledge and experience vis-a-vis the college's 1985 Self Study. Important insights which emerged from the study included the high rates of "unanticipated" or only "implied" perception responses to 25 of the 29 changes analyzed, the low rate at which respondents offered explanatory comments about their perceptions, and the catalytic function of the appointment of a new college president in propelling many of the changes forward midway through the seven-year period analyzed. Interviewee familiarity with the Self Study's plans of action for college improvement was often discovered to be minimal, even among this sample of major Self Study participants and/or implementers. The seven-year time lapse since formal completion of the study was partly responsible for this lack of familiarity, as was the inevitable conclusion that few participants and/or implementers had consulted the Self Study at all since its completion in 1985.


Allan Miller

Date of Award

Spring 1992

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


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