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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Dennis Brennan

First Committee Member

Antonio Serna

Second Committee Member

Craig Seal

Third Committee Member

Gary Cotton


The purpose of this study was to analyze organizational learning and the facilitating factors and critical elements for development of post-secondary distance education and online degree programs at three universities in Hawaii: University of Hawaii at Hilo (public), Hawaii Pacific University and Chaminade University (both private). The researcher interviewed campus officials, key staff and tenured professors who had been instrumental in development of these programs. The data revealed that the growth of these programs was organic, with no formal edict, with only one institution having formalized grant monies to help develop their program. Support for distance programs was not widespread throughout the campus, but rather focused in compartmentalized areas, and in some cases, began with one person venturing out of 'the norm.' This organic growth led to a gradual, but minimal increase in faculty involvement, and administrative support, albeit without any significant investment in course architecture and software support, initially. Institutional support has continued, but does not encourage in a broad sense, continued distance education growth, nor faculty involvement. Marketplace considerations proved a heavy influence on development of these programs. Many students continue to be geographically isolated and there is a heavy concentration of military being transferred from their existing base, and university, unable to transfer credits to a new university at their new duty station. Further development of distance education and online degree programs is a means of assisting institutions of higher learning in reaching more students, geographically isolated from main campus operations. This applies to those existing and potential students in Hawaii, as well as abroad and in the continental United States. Although distance education and online degree programs do not totally replace campus-based courses at these institutions, they do provide an augmentation of existing classroom architecture and allow the student more freedom in the pathway to degree completion.





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