Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


South Mountain Community College is one institution in the Maricopa County Community College District, which, in turn is part of the community college system of the State of Arizona. The direct service area of SMCC has a minority/ population of over 50 percent, consisting of 25 percent Hispanic, 25 percent Black, and 3 percent American Indian. Support services are vital to the students enrolled in degree, certificate and non-degree programs at SMCC. One program offered is a day care center. For many of the children that participate in the program, this is their first exposure to a true learning situation. Thus in considering a pre-school program for the participants, the special needs of the population served was considered. The primary purpose of this major applied research project was twofold. The first purpose was to identify the specific day care program needs as perceived by the program directors and the program users at specific urban community colleges in the southwestern United States. The second purpose of the project was to develop a model urban day care program for community colleges of the southwestern United States with specific application to SMCC. The research question were designed to determine day care program needs as perceived by day care program directors and day care program users at specific community colleges in the southwestern United States. Thia was achieved by surveying selected community colleges in the four major southwestern states, Arizona, California, Colorado, and Tezas, in cities with a population of 400,000 or above. The colleges chose a within these geographic areas were selected based on a minority enrollment of at least twenty-five percent. Two questionnaires. one for program directors and one for the program users, were designed, tested for content validity and used to survey the content of existing programs at the selected colleges as well as to determine the perceived program needs identified by the directors and users. The survey was conducted via mall inquiry. Once returned, the data collected were examined by means of a descriptive analysis of data. This major applied research project revealed that the perceived day care programs needs identified by directors and users of selected community colleges in the southwestern United States differed in services provided, but were essentially the same for educational components. Thus, recommendations were developed that addressed development of day care programs based on the needs of the user with consideration of licensing requirements, educational theory and budgetary constraints. Consideration was also given to the fact that such programs could be used as a secondary gain, for marketing strategies which addressed enrollment and retention of students. The recommendations and model day care program developed will be presented to the President and President’s cabinet at South Mountain Community. Once the recommendations are acted upon, a follow-up study will be conducted to determine if the recommended changes are meeting the needs of the users.

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