Administrator's stages of concern in the conversion of Georgia technical institutes to technical colleges
Lucas, Claude Ernest
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It is a foregone conclusion that change is needed in education today. The changing nature of work and the related educational expectations provides us with a basis for providing individuals with the necessary knowledge and skills to perform and advance in the workplace, both in the present and in the future. Change, however is imperative and will encounter resistance. In order to address this resistance, an understanding of how administrators adopt and use change was the focus of this study. Often the adoption process will involve change on the part of practitioners and we need to understand the processes of the adoption of an innovation. By providing an understanding of these processes and the responses of individuals, we can get a better understanding of future innovation adoption. The purpose of this study was to determine the Stages of Concern of administrators involved in the conversion of technical institutes to technical colleges in Georgia. These administrators were charged with adoption of the innovation (conversion of technical institutes to technical colleges), resulting in adapting to or bringing about changes in the type of accreditation and requirements for faculty credentialing. The concerns held by the participants about the adoption of the innovation of conversion were measured by using the Concern Based Adoption Model and instrumentation and the Stages of Concern Questionnaire. The profile of participants in this study indicated highest concerns related to personal, collaboration, and consequence stage. There was no significant difference between groups (Vice Presidents of Instruction and Vice Presidents of Student Services) involved in the conversion of technical institutes to technical colleges in six of the seven stages. Of the institutions participating/responding, all were at some stage of conversion. The reliability of the survey instrument was confirmed through statistical analysis. As this study has shown, individuals progress through specific stages of concern which can be quantified and measured statistically. In the state of Georgia, at the time of this study an innovation was in progress which allows technical institutes to become colleges, but also encouraged them to expand their accreditation status and make their programs more attractive to students. As we follow the conversions, we see that academic and technical faculty have concerns that need to be addressed by administrators. The conversion that took place has been completed by some institutions and is ongoing in others. Understanding the concerns of those responsible for implementing the conversion is important because it can determine the environment for the conversion to succeed and the probability of success of the change as well as provide a framework for adoption of future innovations.