Date of Award

1993

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

School

School of Education

Program

Higher Education Administration EdD

First Advisor

Bernard M. Lall

Second Advisor

Edward Streeter

Third Advisor

William Green

Abstract

Problem. It is difficult for schools to make sound decisions regarding whether to use external programs to address teenage pregnancy, AIDS, substance abuse, or any other social issue. Questions arise as to which administrative factors impact decisions to use an external program and also what indicators influence successful program implementation. The effects of central office support for a program, staff training, and ample funding are administrative factors to be examined before a program is selected.

Method. The research was conducted across several school districts within Indiana. Data collection involved the distribution of a questionnaire developed for this study. Schooladministrators comprised the largest portion of the sampled population. Surveys were distributed in elementary, middle, and high schools in public and private settings. A few external program providers were also sampled. A correlation matrix was produced for social issues needing external expertise for implementation in schools. Items on the survey were used to test for significant differences in external and internal factors and indicators relating to administrative decisions to adopt external programs.

Results. The number of external programs used in schools increased from 1970 to 1990. The data analysis revealed that child abuse topped the list of issues viewed as needing external expertise. The data also generated lists of external and internal administrative factors related to program adoption and administrative indicators of successful implementation of external programs. Internal program initiation and internal implementation were the factors most significantly impacting administrative decisions to adopt external programs (p<.001). External funding was also a significant factor (p<.05). External funding was the most significant indicator of successful implementation of external programs (p<.001). Internal initiation and internal implementation were also significant indicators of successful implementation (p<.01).

Conclusions. External expertise is perceived to be most needed to address the social issues of child abuse and substance-abuse prevention and least needed in the areas ofdecision-making and values clarification. This study shows that decisions to adopt external programs are influenced more when the programs are initiated by internal forces and implemented by internal personnel.

Subject Area

School social work, Community and school

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