State Legislators' Attitudes Toward The Community College Mission
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Type of WorkText
DepartmentHigher Education Program
ProgramDoctor of Education
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The purpose of this study was to investigate Maryland State Senators and Delegates attitude toward ten goals of the community college mission (academic transfer/general education, globalization, community service, continuing education, developmental education, open access, student services, vocational-technical training, funding, and workforce development). An electronic survey instrument, Community College Legislative Questionnaire, a modification of the original Community College Goals Inventory (CCGI) as developed by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and the American Association of Community and Junior Colleges by Peterson and Uhi (1979), was distributed to State legislators. The results revealed that there were significant relationships between the socio-demographic characteristics including years of service, political affiliation, and occupation. Also, findings revealed legislators' attitudes towards community college mission goal areas of continuing education, developmental education, and workforce development. Legislators' sources of information were advisors or experts, constituents/taxpayers, and state legislative audit/research/review utilized in order to develop educational policy. The findings of the present quantitative study suggested that political affiliation and occupation significantly influence legislators' attitudes towards community college mission. Also, years of service and gender were significant when explaining attitude development towards community college mission. Legislators' attitudes are at significantly high levels in three common goals of the community college mission which are continuing education, developmental education, and workforce development. The finding also revealed that the most significant legislator sources of information come from four primary sources (in order of effect), constituents/taxpayers, advisors or experts, and State legislative audit/research/review. Overall legislators' attitudes toward community college missions were significantly more favorable in 2012 than in 2007.