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Economic Development and Maryland Community Colleges: An Identification and Comparision of Stakeholders' Perception Open Access

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The purpose of this exploratory survey research was to replicate a study designed to examine the perception of community college administrators and local stakeholders regarding the economic development strategies, but applied to Maryland community colleges. A web-based survey was directed to community college leaders (32) and local leaders (130). The community college leaders included the 16 public community college presidents in Maryland and senior administrators of workforce development programs at the 16 public community colleges in Maryland. The local leaders included; representativesof the Maryland Workforce Investment Board; executive directors, presidents, or CEO from chamber of commerce; and senior administrators of the Business and Economic Development department/corporation/one per county). Of the final 122 surveys that were emailed, 37 usable surveys were returned, for a 31 percent return rate. The primary statistical procedures were descriptive statistics, the t test, and partial correlations analysis test.The major findings were: (a) study sample perceived that all of the 18 economic development strategies were being used; (b) community college leaders and local leaders in Maryland are generally satisfied with the economic development strategies used by their local community colleges; (c) there was a significant relationship between the responder's level of satisfaction with, and the perceived level of use with a majority of the economic development strategies used by their local community collegs; and (d) community college leaders tended to perceive a higher level of use and satisfaction with the economic development strategies than the local leaders. This finding supports those of Boone(1994) and Chen (1995).

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