Defining reality in the community college: The selective interpretation of mission.
AuthorPrice, Ellen Louise.
Committee ChairSlaughter, Sheila A.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe overall purpose of this case study has been to examine how the dominant mission of the community college was selectively interpreted or modified. Through interviews of nine faculty members and nine members of the administration of institutional records, and newspaper accounts, an analysis was made, using three perspectives, history and tradition, resource dependency, and social interpretation of reality. From the perspective of history and tradition the organization was examined to see what aspects of the mission were "deposited" from the past in terms of program emphasis and changes over time in the formal mission statement. Politics could not be separated from history. Examining funding from outside sources of revenue demonstrated that shifts in resources were congruent with changes in the composition of the Board and with changes in interpretation of the mission. Resources seemed to influence the interpretation of the mission of the college, but were interwoven with history and politics so it was difficult to separate out which influence predominated. The perspective of selective interpretation demonstrated that the forces determining the selective interpretation of the mission were all conflated. Although the overall force that was the most powerful was the political economic force, the minorities and the human development voices maintained an influence. My research has shown that the mission is socially and politically constructed over time.
Degree ProgramHigher Education