An analysis of the relationships between end-user support and information technology strategic planning at Pennsylvania community colleges
Jason P. Feiertag, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, United States
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania . Awarded
The recent proliferation and evolution of various technologies has yielded a host of new and different challenges for Pennsylvania community colleges. Technological developments appear to have affected nearly every aspect of our society in some manner or other. Individuals and groups have begun to demand new clusters of knowledge and skills that, in some instances, are required to stay competitive in the workplace and, in other instances, prove helpful in realizing some recreational purpose. Many of these demands for new technology oriented knowledge bases and skills are brought to the local community college.
The main challenge for Pennsylvania community colleges is to accommodate the new and increased demands for technology-based knowledge and skills. This challenge can no doubt be felt throughout all areas within the different Pennsylvania community colleges. One area, in particular, that probably feels the brunt of this challenge is the Information Technology (IT) department (or equivalent) at each of the community colleges. IT departments represent the focus area for this study.
The importance of the community college IT department in the Information Age cannot be underestimated. IT departments are typically responsible, at some level or other, for keeping technology current, establishing new technology, maintaining existing technology, and lending support to the end-users of technology. Unfortunately, recent studies have indicated that colleges suffer from a lack of end-user support and IT planning. It is because of these crucial problems, as well as the importance of IT departments, that it was chosen to study the relationships between IT strategic planning and end-user support. The research hypothesis utilized for this study is stated as follows: The greater the level of IT strategic planning at particular college, the more likely the IT department conducts end-user surveys.
Each one of the fifteen Pennsylvania community colleges was issued a survey. The survey was designed to gather mainly quantitative data. Fourteen schools responded to the survey. It was evident from the results of these surveys, that Pennsylvania community colleges were experiencing the increase and pervasiveness of technology. However, when certain measures of association were applied to the results, there was little evidence supporting the research hypothesis. Possible reasons for these results were discussed in the study. Fortunately, further tests on different pairings of variables did yield evidence, which supported certain elements of the general theory presented in this study.
Feiertag, J.P. An analysis of the relationships between end-user support and information technology strategic planning at Pennsylvania community colleges. Master's thesis, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania.
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