Title page for ETD etd-1113102-162549

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Shaffett, Bobbie Ruth Dixon
Author's Email Address bshaffe@lsu.edu
URN etd-1113102-162549
Title Community Organization Staff Perceptions about the Importance of Selected Practices in Building Effective Community-University Service and Learning Partnerships
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Vocational Education
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Joe W. Kotrlik Committee Chair
Frances C. Lawrence Committee Member
Geraldine Holmes Committee Member
Michael F. Burnett Committee Member
Charles Teddlie Dean's Representative
  • community
  • university
  • partnerships
  • service
  • learning
  • evaluation
  • effectiveness
  • practices
  • principles
  • model
  • quantitative
  • community partner
Date of Defense 2002-10-28
Availability unrestricted
The purpose of this study was to explore community organization staff perceptions about the importance of selected practices in building effective community-university service and learning partnerships. The target population was community organization staff members who were current or potential partners for community-university service and learning partnerships. The accessible population was community organization staff members listed with a southern metropolitan volunteer placement organization in a an area served by several universities, one large Research I Land-grant university, a historically Black Land-grant university, and at least two other state universities.

The researcher designed a mail survey questionnaire based on scholarly and practitioner literature asking demographic information about interest and experience in community-university partnerships, as well as current staff position or role. Respondents were also asked to indicate perceived levels of importance and levels of frequency with which 52 partnership practices had been observed on a two-part anchored scale (0 4). Data from 261 usable surveys were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS).

Principle component analysis of mean importance levels was used to reduce 52 partnership practice items to seven primary factors or constructs: University Institutional Context, Community Organization Context, Preparation/ Training, Community Partner Roles, Faculty Partner Roles, Relationship/ Communication, and Evaluation/ Outcomes. The researcher synthesized a COMparre Model for planning, evaluating and reporting community-university partnerships from research findings and the literature: C for the partnership context, including organizational missions and purpose; O for outcomes or results; and M for mechanisms or processes involved in the partnership, including preparation, action, relationship, reflection and evaluation.

Multiple regression analyses identified experiences that explained statistically significant portions of the variance in perceived importance including: (a) the total amount of experience with community university service and learning partnership as measured by seven selected types of experience; (b) a particular type of experience, service-learning training for community partners; (c) experience making decisions about whether or not to use university students to fulfill community service goals; and (d) experience in a combination of specific positions or roles played at their organization, volunteer placement coordinator combined with direct service supervisor.

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