Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Education


Leadership PhD

First Advisor

Shirley A. Freed

Second Advisor

Trevor Gardner

Third Advisor

Hinsdale Bernard


Problem. Effective institutional planning is vital to the ability of community colleges to deliberately respond to external and internal pressures to increase accountability and demonstrate institutional effectiveness. A significant indicator for assessing the effectiveness of a program review process is the use of the outcomes for other institutional purposes such as research, planning, and resource allocation—in other words, informed decision making. In the past, program review, planning, and budgeting processes for the most part have been independent functions or limited in their integration within an institution. The literature provides theories of integration, but little has been written about how these theories are successfully implemented.

Method. This multiple case study describes, compares, and contrasts how two California community colleges connect program review to institutional planning and decision-making processes. Utilizing a qualitative research design, data gathered over a 4-year period included interviews and focus groups of administrators, faculty, staff, and students, on-site observations of various planning and budgeting processes, and extensive document analysis. The research objectives were to (a) examine how program review outcomes are integrated into the planning and budget processes and (b) determine the critical components of a successful integration process.

Results. Each college has its own way of integrating academic planning and decision-making processes. Each institution has its own leadership style and unique culture that are determining factors in integration. However, the more skillful, stable, and trustworthy the leadership and the more open, flexible, data-informed, and collaborative the culture, the more integration-friendly an institution will be. Strong, authentic shared-governance models provide a balanced distribution of power that engenders greater participation— power with, not power over.

Conclusions. Integration of program review outcomes, strategic planning, and budgeting increases the effectiveness of colleges. These components are more effective when leadership and institutional culture are considered and over-laid on the institutional structure, which affects organizational behavior. This study provides a new contextual model and lens to view the integration process holistically, including the major processes in relationship to the institutional culture and how that relationship can enhance the effectiveness of the organization.

Subject Area

Educational innovations--California, School management and organization--California, Community Colleges--California.

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