It Takes a Village...A Study of the Community College Baccalaureate Movement in Four States
AuthorSugiyama-Murray, Enid T.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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EmbargoDissertation not available (per author's request)
AbstractThis study examined the institutional and governmental forces that contributed to the passage of community college baccalaureate (CCB) legislation, and the plans for future implementation of a CCB within differing state contexts. The analysis of governmental and institutional actors was conducted through the lens of institutional theory, state relative autonomy theory, resource dependency theory, and coalition framework theory, in order to determine how those interactions affected policy change at community colleges. The three most significant findings were the universities’ perception of community colleges as competitors, policy entrepreneurship, and the importance of coalition building. First, the scarcity of state funding, students, and other resources prompted the universities to act more as competitors or opponents than partners. In turn, community colleges, responding to the lack of access by the universities, turned to themselves to provide the baccalaureate, which incensed universities because they saw the CCB not only as an infringement on their turf but as a competitive threat. Second, successful states that were able to pass CCB legislation, had policy entrepreneurs who were instrumental in changing the status quo and promoting innovation. Policy entrepreneurs in this study built networks and coalitions of powerful people who could execute their plan and influence policy change. Finally, although the policy entrepreneur was a critical factor in policy change, the true power lay in the base, or the coalitions and networks of people who shared the same beliefs. Without a true collective movement, even with powerful and invested policy entrepreneurs and stakeholders, the legislation could not pass.
Degree ProgramGraduate College