Dissertation Proposal Defense by Danene Brown

Event Start DateThursday, May 3, 2012
Mother Rosalie Hill Hall, Room 201
Event Start Time3:00 pm - 5:00 pm




      For the last several years, an increasing amount of attention has been focused on community colleges and the critical role they play as engines of job growth. For example, in 2010 a White House Summit on Community Colleges examined how community colleges might help meet the job training and education needs of the nation’s evolving workforce; projections show that jobs requiring at least an associate’s degree are expected to grow twice as fast in the coming years as those requiring no college experience. To meet these needs, community colleges are taking a close look at the way they educate and train students, and, not surprisingly, are using an assortment of student engagement indicators in an effort to assess and document the learning outcomes of their students. While these indicators have proven helpful, the extent to which new buildings, equipment and technology have been integrated into these metrics has been sorely lacking; instead, the general assumption has been that more modern facilities, equipment, and technology will improve students’ learning and better prepare them for the workforce.


To investigate the extent to which this typically unchallenged assumption is true, this study will examine the relationship between new facilities, equipment, and technology at one Southern California community college, and select student outcomes, including student engagement, licensure exam passage rates, and the extent to which students were prepared to enter the workforce. Utilizing a convergent parallel design, this mixed methods study will use quantitative research methods such as independent sample t-tests and regression analysis to compare and contrast the differences between students who completed their allied health program in the old building and those that completed their programs in the new building, and qualitative techniques to interview both faculty teaching in the program and their program directors regarding their perceptions of the various student outcomes.


Taken together, the hope is that this study will not only provide important insights into the relationship between new buildings, equipment, and technology and student measures of success at one community college, but will also provide another way to view investments in new community college facilities, equipment, and technologies.


**USD graduate and faculty communities welcome free of charge

ContactHeather Gibb | | (619) 260-4637
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