The Role of Universities in Corporate Contract Training and Development

Hasseltine, Donald A. , Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Taylor, Alton, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Clawson, James, Darden Graduate School of Business, University of Virginia
Covert, Robert, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Lampkin, Patricia, Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, University of Virginia

The current economic transformation from an industrial to an information economy requires that workers achieve an increasingly higher level of formal education and pursue on-going, continuous training and development throughout their careers. This in tum has created an ever-increasing demand for workforce development and training services. Local, state, and federal governments and the business community are searching for partners to help address the business sector demand for training services. The business community and government sector are pressuring higher education to play a larger role, especially since universities possess the important catalysts of the information economy, technology development, knowledge and human resource development, and have an infrastructure to provide training services. Seventy-five percent of community colleges were found to be participating in contract training, however, universities have remained equivocal about their involvement in economic development initiatives. This descriptive study was designed to examine what role, if any, universities were playing in providing training and development services to business and industry. To gain the broadest and most comprehensive view, this study analyzed this issue from a university continuing education unit perspective. The purpose of the study was to improve the understanding of what kind, to whom, and how often university continuing education units were providing corporate training services. The barriers and benefits were also included in the study. Seventeen research questions were developed to examine this issue. 195 of 236 doctoral granting institutions were identified as having centralized continuing education units and were asked to complete a 31-item survey regarding their involvement in corporate training and development. 111 completed and returned the survey, for a participation rate of 56 percent. The findings were presented in tabular and narrative formats. Institutional comparisons of findings were conducted based on type, enrollment size, Carnegie classification, and geographic location. This study found that university continuing education units were viable and active providers of contract training, especially large public universities, located in urban areas. Seventy-five percent of respondents reported supporting a contract training program. This study found that contract training programs provide revenue, enhance internal and external visibility, and improve the university business relationship with the business community.

EDD (Doctor of Education)
formal education, information economy, continuous training, development and training services, workforce
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