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The challenge of change : a case study of the institutionalization of employability skills at Guilford Technical Community College

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Tanya Holt Davis (Creator)
Institution
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site: http://www.wcu.edu/404.asp
Advisor
Ann Alexander

Abstract: Characteristics of a knowledge economy have been extensively documented in the literature. Rapid change resulting from increased technologies and globalization has triggered an unprecedented urgency for all citizens to possess high-level workplace employability skills in order for the U.S. to maintain economic vitality and global competitiveness. Community colleges are primary providers of workplace skills, therefore, faculty are expected to teach high-level workplace skills to students. The purpose of this research was to examine the impact of Guilford Technical Community College’s SACS Quality Enhancement Plan on faculty commitment to economic development and teaching high-level workplace employability skills. Additionally, the study described the implementation of the QEP as a large-scale strategic change at GTCC. A thorough review of the literature confirmed the significance of the need to examine institutional implementation of employability skills and faculty commitment to economic development and delivering high-level workplace employability skills to students. The study was conducted at GTCC utilizing a qualitative case study methodology. The dynamics of naturalistic inquiry provided rich insight of the implications for faculty commitment to economic and workforce development, and institutional change surrounding implementation. Data were amassed through interviews, documents, studies, surveys, and other relevant texts obtained from GTCC. Themes and patterns that emerged during the data collection to produce findings were used to address the following research questions: 1. What has been the impact of Guilford Technical Community College’s (GTCCs) QEP on commitment of faculty to incorporating high-level workplace employability skills in the curriculum? 2. What has been the impact of GTCCs QEP on commitment of faculty to economic development? 3. How did GTCCs administration facilitate the implementation of the QEP? 4. What were barriers to implementation of the QEP? 5. How did Guilford Technical Community College overcome barriers to implementation of the QEP? The research was rooted in Conner’s theory of the Stages of Change Commitment, and existing literature related to the topic. The study revealed that teaching employability skills to students was institutionalized by GTCC faculty participants; and hence, was a significant part of the college’s philosophy and culture. The findings of the study further addressed how GTCC administrators implemented the campus-wide strategic initiative, barriers to implementation of employability skills, and how GTCC overcame barriers.

Additional Information

Publication
Dissertation
Language: English
Date: 2009
Keywords
economic development, strategic change, workforce development
Subjects
Guilford Technical Community College
Guilford Technical Community College -- Planning
Vocational education -- North Carolina -- Guilford County
Technical education -- North Carolina -- Guilford County
Technical education -- Planning