Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




The purpose of this study was to determine Virginia Community College System (VCCS) faculty preferences for four possible institutional directions for the VCCS and to explore possible relationships between specific faculty characteristics and preferences for the individual directions. Information derived from the study was to be used to clarify whether or not community college faculty support the broad institutional directions by community college leaders in their efforts to instill a strong identity for this institution.;The population for this study was all full-time teaching faculty in the VCCS for the academic year 1982-83. 323 faculty were systematically selected after first being stratified along the variable of institutional size as determined by full-time student enrollment. Those selected for the sample received a survey questionnaire primarily asking them to rank order their preferences for four possible institutional directions for the VCCS and requesting information about specific faculty characteristics.;It was hypothesized that (1) the majority of VCCS faculty would rank first the direction of Comprehensive Community College, (2) that they would least prefer the direction of Community-Based Learning Center, and (3) that specific faculty characteristics would affect specific preferences.;Information derived from the completed questionnaires (70 percent response rate) was statistically analyzed using multiple discriminant function analysis. The results supported the first two hypotheses but failed to show any correlation between specific faculty characteristics and specific directions with one exception: faculty teaching the majority of their courses in occupational-technical courses were likely to most prefer the institutional direction of Comprehensive Community College.;The results also support the overall conclusion that the heterogeneity of community college faculty negatively affects their unanimity for any one institutional direction desired by national and state leaders of the community college. The lack of support for any one institutional direction may be an important factor in the community college's continuing identity problem with the general public, legislators, and those in higher education.;Further study is needed to clarify which faculty characteristics, if any, affect preferences for institutional directions. In addition, student, administrator, and alumni preferences should also be investigated.



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