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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Administrators' perceptions of the outcomes of implementing three provincial policies on community college governance in British Columbia Mitchell, Alan Robert


Recent students of policy have devoted much attention to the analysis o-f policy implementation, describing the changes that occur during the implementation of policy in various ways. This is another such study, the purpose of which was to determine how administrators of community colleges perceived the outcomes of implementing three provincial policies concerned with governance of the college system in British Columbia. The provincial Government, through the Minister and Ministry staff, was the policy formulator, community college governance was the policy topic, and community college system administrators were the implementors. A subsidiary purpose is to determine what discrepancies, if any, existed between the policies' intentions, and the outcomes o-f those policies as perceived by the implementors. Guided by a conceptual framework developed from the literature on policy implementation and based on Easton's (1965B) political systems theory, a case study method was used to collect and analyse the data. The documented and perceived intentions of formulators in relation to the three policy initiatives examined were reasonably congruous, but only two of the policies were perceived to be implemented in a way that corresponded at all closely to the policy intentions. From an analysis of the perceptions of policy implementors, a number of different outcomes emerged which did not align with the intentions of those who formulated the policies. The following major conclusions were reached. 1 Governance of the community college system in B.C. was perceived to have become more simplified and efficient as a result of the policies. 2 Administrators perceived that decision—making moved from the Councils to the Minister and the Ministry office, thus providing a more centralised governance structure. 3 There appeared to be an interesting connection (strong relationship) between administrators' perceptions of intent and their perceptions of outcomes. 4 It was perceived that a lack of trust existed between the Ministry and various interest groups involved in the governance of the college system. The findings have practical, theoretical and methodological implications, including recommendations for future policy-makers, some additions to the body of knowledge on policy implementation, and some suggestions for further research on this topic.

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