Dissertation Abstract

Predictors of Employer Satisfaction With Workplace-Based Contract Training Programs at Community and Technical Colleges in West Virginia

Publication Number:  AAT3098045
Author:  Davis, Mark Edward
School:  Marshall University
Date:  2003
Pages:  143
Subject:  Community Colleges, Adult Education, Continuing Education

Workplace-based contract training for employers is a growing area of the mission of community and technical colleges across the nation, and determining what factors predict satisfaction for sponsoring organizations may help ensure the success of such programs. This is especially important in West Virginia, where higher education legislation in 1995 and 2000 mandated such programming as essential. State institutions that fail in this area may lose their status as independent colleges. Community and technical colleges, therefore, that use data from this study may be able to design and deliver workplace-based contract education and training programs, using limited existing resources, efficiently and cost effectively.

Prior to this research, only three other statewide studies had been conducted to determine employer satisfaction with such programs offered by community and technical colleges. Existing data from the most recent study and current literature suggested that seven variables help determine employer satisfaction: (1) employer participation in program design; (2) customization of program content and mode of delivery; (3) flexibility of course and program scheduling; (4) contract pricing; (5) use of adjunct instructors with business and industry experience; (6) access to institutional resources; and (7) employee-student persistence.

This research showed that all variables were good predictors of employer satisfaction, but statistical significance existed only between satisfaction and flexibility of course and program scheduling. Qualitative data suggested for future study the correlation between the use of adjunct faculty with business and industry experience and employer satisfaction. It is recommended that this study be repeated at the end of West Virginia's current higher education legislation, Senate Bill 653, in 2006.

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