Community Development Through Industry and Education Partnerships: An Integrated Evaluability Assessment of a Cooperative Training Alliance Between Industry and an Urban Community College
Author(s)Witte, Richard E.
KeywordsBusiness and education partnerships
Adult and Continuing Education
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AbstractConceptualizing community college/industry training linkages as unified programs with established evaluable outcomes will allow practical assessment of their value as a community development tool. The purpose of this study was to conduct an evaluability assessment of the training linkage between Tidewater Community College and Norfolk Naval Shipyard. This alliance was formed to provide professional academic instruction as an element of the shipyard apprentice program. The study established the documented program expectations and the program expectations of state and local community development policy makers, community college leaders and shipyard management. The study evaluated all identified expectations for compatibility across partnership interests, plausibility considering the activities being conducted and the measurability of program expectations. The study identified all of the information needs of the program partners and integrated all important evaluable program expectations into unified program models that provide both the shipyard and community development leaders with progressively more comprehensive evaluation options. The evaluation options chosen will be based on the amount of evaluation information needed to make decisions on program viability and program improvement. The results of the evaluability assessment identified several important considerations that are related to community college and industry alliances: (1) Community development policy leaders strongly support direct community college involvement with industry. (2) A significant level of consensus on program expectations exists with virtually all expectations being compatible across partnership interests. (3) Conceptualizing this training linkage within unified evaluable program models that includes all important, compatible, plausible, and measurable expectations of the program partners is a practical means of demonstrating program reality and evaluation options. (4) Evaluation utilizing the programs models will provide the program partners with the information needed to assess program viability and improve program performance. (5) Progressively more comprehensive evaluation options make outcome evaluation a practical and realistic concept. (6) Program performance as a community development training alliance can be enhanced by improving the information exchange between community agencies.
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