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Organized for Success? An Examination of Whether District Structures Relate to Institutional Efficiency and Student Success Among California’s Community Colleges

  • Author(s): Beynon, Sharon
  • Advisor(s): Eagan, Mark K
  • et al.

This study examined the impact on student success of district structure, organization and other institutional characteristics in California Community Colleges (CCCs). Controlling for institutional characteristics related to demographics of the student body, urbanicity, and institutional size, the study asked if the structure of the district (in which CCCs operate) accounts for variation in institutional student success measures. The study further asked whether student success significantly correlates with the proportion of a college’s expenditures related to student instruction, the percentage of full-time faculty, or the ratio of faculty to administrators. Using Mintzberg’s (1979) organizational structures as a theoretical framework, the study contrasted sing single-college districts (SCDs) and multi-college districts (MCDs). The research used data gathered from both California Community College Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) DataMart, as well as from the Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). The data was examined quantitatively using regression analysis, bi-variate correlation analysis, t-tests, and F-tests. The study found a significant association between the type of district that a college belongs to and several measures of student success. The study also found a significant association between the percent of full-time faculty at the college and student success, and a significant association between the percent of the budget spent on instruction and student success. Outside of the research questions, the study also found a significant positive association between college size, as measured by full-time equivalent students (FTES), and student success and a significant negative association between the percent of students on BOG (Board of Governor’s) waiver and student success.

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