Title page for ETD etd-09102012-193745

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Wesse, David Joseph
Author's Email Address dwesse@lsua.edu
URN etd-09102012-193745
Title The Influence of the Introduction of Baccalaureate Degree Programs on the Awarding of Associate Degrees at Public Community Colleges
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Human Resource Education Workforce Development
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Verma, Satish Committee Chair
Burnett, Michael F. Committee Co-Chair
Marks, Loren D. Committee Member
Mitchell, Roland W. Committee Member
  • two-year with bachelors
Date of Defense 2012-07-06
Availability unrestricted
Little research has been done to examine how the awarding of bachelorís degrees, by community colleges, influences the traditional associate degree-granting role of these institutions. This quantitative study investigates the impact of this change on the community colleges that have been allowed to award bachelorís degrees, examining how this change affects the traditional associate degree granting output of these institutions. The population for this study is all public community colleges in the United States that offer associate degrees, including those awarding bachelorís degrees. A data query was used to collect the data for this study from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) database. In the full sample, there was a correlation between the number of associate degrees awarded and whether a bachelorís degree was offered. Schools that offered bachelorís degrees tended to have higher numbers of associate degrees awarded. In the subsample of schools that offered bachelorís degrees, there was a moderate positive correlation between the number of bachelor and associate degrees awarded. The number of associate degrees awarded was undiminished by the initiation of a bachelorís degree program at two-year schools. As such, this study may indicate successful higher education marketplace competition, with community colleges evolving to offer bachelorís degrees while successfully continuing their traditional associate degree-granting role. This study indicates that the awarding of associate and bachelorís degrees is not mutually exclusive. The one can be conducive to the other. A successful synergy can be established. The community college bachelorís may make sense as a competitive, market driven response to a societal need. Public community colleges that began to offer, over the last ten years, a four-year baccalaureate degree to meet higher education needs, in addition to the traditional two-year associate degree, are accomplishing this dual mission effectively. This conclusion is supported by the findings of this study and facts in the published literature. More states need to allow community colleges to offer bachelorís degrees. In this way, the legislatures could recognize the reality of the educational and economic development needs of place-bound, non-traditional students who have increased the demand for localized bachelorís degree programs.
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