Date of Award

5-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Educational Leadership

Advisor

Havice, Pamela

Committee Member

Lindle, Jane

Committee Member

Havice, William

Committee Member

Bridges, William

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of the differences in attitudes and perceptions toward state authorization of online learning among higher education administrators situated at different levels of policy involvement. The population for this study was higher education administrators at 153 institutions in the United States that hold the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation and offer degrees online. The study was conducted during the 2013-2014 academic year. A mixed-methods approach to data collection was selected for this study. The findings revealed the following: a) attitudes and perceptions toward state authorization of online learning did not change based on higher education administrators' level of policy involvement, characteristics, or knowledge about state authorization; b) administrators are frustrated with the process of state authorization; c) administrators are committed to following the process in order to legally offer online learning programs outside of their home state; d) most administrators identified their purpose of involvement in state authorization policy as mobilizing resources in order to achieve policy requirements; e) in the policy-making process, administrators reported having a role in implementing state authorization policy but did not feel they had a voice or vote when it came to state authorization policy development or implementation; and f) administrators are in favor of a national reciprocity agreement where states would agree to recognize other states' online education programs as long as those programs are certified by the home state.

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