D.B.A. Baker College (Michigan), 2019.
Assessing program development for sustainability in higher education
159 pages. UMI #: 27549169
Citation, Abstract & Full text in ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Database
Continuing pressures on the value of education have created the need for institutions of higher education to integrate practices to identify the mismatch of programs’ student learning outcomes in higher education and the tactical needs of the employers that lead to low student enrollments and subsequent financial losses. The theoretical framework used to support this study included R. Edward Freeman’s stakeholder theory, Ludwig von Bertalanffy’s open systems theory, and William Massy’s theory of productivity. Thirteen provosts were interviewed from 72 public and private colleges and universities in Michigan. Data collected focused on factors and processes institutions consider when conceptualizing, developing, and evaluating new programs for their curricula. The results of this study reinforce the notion that external stakeholder feedback is necessary at every stage of new program development to ensure the skills produced meet industry needs. There is a growing trend toward a more fully integrated model of program assessment that includes financial metrics and mission fit. A roadmap of best practices was created from the participants’ feedback to follow when creating and assessing the sustainability of new programs. The significance of this study is that it contributes to the body of knowledge that institutions of higher education can use to assess the ability for new programs to align student learning outcomes with industry expectations and offer benefits to both graduates and institutions in the form of better returns for their investments.