Date of Award
Dissertation - NSU Access Only
Doctor of Education
Center for the Advancement of Education
In February 1984, Spartanburg Technical College (STC) installed a Vax 11/750 computer as part of a management information system (MIS). This system was funded through a three-year Federal Title III grant award. Six objectives were established within the grant application. These objectives included the hiring of necessary personnel to establish a computer service center and the procurement of hardware and software to operate a totally interactive and integrated administrative MIS program within the three years of the grant award. The MIS has been installed and operated for five years. To plan for the next five years, the president requested that a study be conducted to provide a qualitative evaluation of the capabilities of the MIS as it existed in March 1989 and to develop recommendations for changes necessary to optimize the MIS into the 1990s. The recommendations for optimization were developed as the Five-Year Information Technology Plan. Concurrent with the MIS study, college management was involved in a new, long-term planning process for the college. The product of this long-term planning was the STC Five-Year Plan. The Five-Year Information Technology Plan was a valued document in the finalization of the STC Five-Year Plan. The evaluation of the Spartanburg Technical College management information system followed the responsive or qualitative study methodology and used the naturalistic paradigm. The case study was the reporting form for this research. The research technique included interviews with managers and users at Spartanburg Technical College and other peer colleges within South Carolina. The present capabilities of the MIS were determined through a 1989 survey of equipment on hand, the technical capabilities of the equipment, and an assessment of the operating capabilities of the users. Interviews and personal observations were conducted in nine of the peer colleges within the South Carolina Technical College System to determine the level of achievement in establishing a viable management information system at Spartanburg Technical College. An equipment inventory was completed. Personal interviews with system users and MIS technicians were accomplished to determine the level of activity within the STC system. Based upon these findings, major shortfalls within the system were identified. Using the evaluated capability of the MIS as a baseline, system users were assembled to "brainstorm" the needs of the college in the next five years. These sessions resulted in a prioritized listing of thirty-six new capabilities. These new requirements were categorized as hardware, software, system, and academic requirements. This prioritized listing was used to develop a Five-Year Information Technology Plan. During the study preparation period, it became apparent that several of the shortfalls identified in the capability evaluation required immediate remediation. Therefore, the results of this study were presented to college management in multiple presentations throughout the year-long study period. The recommendations for the first year of the study were presented to college management during the presentation for approval of the Fiscal Year 1989/90 Operating Budget. The second presentation which included recommendations for the second year was completed during the deliberations on the Information Technology Plan for Fiscal Year 1990/91. Continued presentations were made to the Commission during the final months of the study as the Commission completed its approval of the STC Five-Year Plan.