Teachers College, Columbia University

Structure in Community College Career-Technical Programs: A Qualitative Analysis

By Michelle Van Noy, Madeline Joy Trimble, Davis Jenkins, Elisabeth A. Barnett & John Wachen

Using data obtained from interviews and program websites at Washington community and technical colleges, the authors of this study examine the structure of community college career-technical programs in allied health, business and marketing, computer and information studies, and mechanics and repair.

A framework for structure with four dimensions—program alignment, program prescription, information quality, and active program advising and support—is used to examine the practices of relatively high- and low-performing colleges within each field of study. The allied health, computer and information science, and mechanics and repair programs were found to be highly structured; the business and marketing programs were found to have a moderate level of structure.