Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Adult, Career, and Higher Education

Major Professor

Jan M. Ignash, Ph.D.


Career, Curriculum analysis, Institutional mission, Institutional goal, Strategic plan


Policy-makers intend community colleges to be the primary vehicles for workforce development education and training. In support of this intent, community college mission statements and curricular patterns should clearly indicate a workforce emphasis. Do these statements and curricular patterns reflect policy intent? If not, are resources being directed appropriately? This study was conducted to determine whether the current composition of the overall Florida public community college curriculum and the content of Florida public community college mission and planning statements provided evidence to support Florida leadership policy statements that portray workforce development as a primary component of the community college mission.

An investigation also was made as to whether a longitudinal assessment of the curriculum and the content of mission and planning statements provided evidence that workforce development increased as a component of the community college mission.Through the assumptions of legitimation theory, the overriding hypothesis of this study was that community colleges as institutions that allocate status confer a higher status through their transfer mission than through their workforce development mission. To carry out this study, a content analysis was conducted of 1999/2000 and 2004/2005 mission and institutional goal statements. Comparisons were made across time and between institutions. Size was included as a factor. Findings confirmed the study prediction that the transfer mission would remain paramount in the Florida community college curriculum. Findings also confirmed growth in workforce development education once non-credit sections were included in the overall curricular analysis.

However, the liberal arts transfer mission remained the primary emphasis in the curriculum analysis, although not in the content analysis. Workforce retains a priority status among policy leaders, both at a national and state level. The findings from this study indicate that leadership policy directives are aligned well with institutional mission, goal, and planning documents: workforce development holds a dominant place. However, the findings suggest that leadership policy directives are not aligned well with curricular patterns. Community college stakeholders may wish to investigate what more can be done to promote the workforce development component to students.