Oregon promise: a look at institutions and decisions made as a result of Oregon Promise Policy

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Education, Health & Human Development


How do free college initiatives, such as the Oregon Promise, impact decision-making at mid-sized community colleges? How have community colleges leveraged free college initiatives to increase and provide systemic support to vulnerable students? The purpose of this multiple case study was to understand the decision-making process as expressed by community college leadership and to explore the process of change. The study examined four mid-sized Oregon community colleges which constituted the entire population of mid-sized community colleges per the Carnegie classification system of size, in the state of Oregon. The participants in the study included seasoned Vice Presidents whose primary role was to implement initiatives, policies, procedures and oversee student success at their campus. The information provided serves to inform change in higher education. Attention was given to Neo-Institutionalism and Tierney's Decision-making theories as well as social-constructionist and critical social frameworks. The results indicate that system change is far more difficult than one might imagine given the multiple stakeholders, vision of shared governance, and competing interests. This study concludes with suggestions for implementing system change and the need for further research.




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