Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


Gateway Community College (Gateway) has a long history of providing custom and contract training programs to businesses and corporations In the Phoenix area. In the past five years, however, there has been, a three-fold increase in the number of these training programs. Responding to this rapid growth has overloaded existing instructional and service departments within the College and there is a need to establish a new department for the express purpose of providing custom and contract training services to business and industry clients. The purpose of the study was to develop operational recommendations and specifications for this new department by collecting and analyzing data from exemplary college-business centers across the United States. With that purpose in mind, the following research questions provided focus to the study: 1. How can exemplary college-business centers be identified? 2. What is an appropriate method for gathering data about these centers? 3. What operational and management structures exist in exemplary college-business centers? 4. What information needs to be included in the operational and management plan for Gateway's college-business center? The study was accomplished in several major steps and included (1) a review of literature relating to workforce training and the role of community colleges in providing this kind of training; (2) the creation of a committee to identify exemplary college-business centers; (3) modification of a survey instrument in order to collect data from the identified centers; (4) collection of the data; (5) personal interviews with the directors of selected college-business centers; and (6) the development of operational specifications for GateWay’s college-business centers based on analysis of the data. The membership of the committee was restricted to individuals with a national or regional perspective of college-business training. Committee members represented business, government, and professional organizations and identified fifty-one exemplary college-business centers. A previously validated survey instrument was modified and sent to the identified college-business centers. After analysis of the data, college-business centers which were similar in size and scope to GateWay were selected for in-depth personal interviews. These interviews were conducted on the telephone and used the survey instrument as an outline for discussion. The following conclusions were made based on analysis and interpretation of the data: (1) most exemplary college-business centers are organized as a part of the College continuing education department; (2) very few centers employ full-time instructional staff (3) most centers handle registration and billing functions within the center and are not dependent upon the parent institutions for those services; (4) exemplary centers offer a variety of courses including credit, non-credit, and custom training; (5) most exemplary centers can develop non-credit course, in less than two weeks; and (6) exemplary college-business centers enjoy high levels of support from the parent institutions. Recommendations based on the results of the study included realigning administrative reporting structures; establishing budgeting and finance policies; development of staffing guidelines implementation of in-center registration and fiscal procedures; modification of curriculum development procedure; improving instructional evaluation procedures; and enhancing the institutional commitment to marketing and communication. The aforementioned recommendations were incorporated into a planning document which was shared with other colleges in the Maricopa Community College District.

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