Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Academic Discipline

Community College Leadership


This research focused on identifying and exploring the significant current and emerging community college non-academic support service issues. These auxiliary services, not unlike academic or student affairs, support the community college mission and vision as well as students’ academic success. Since December 2007, Americans have been experiencing a lasting recession and community colleges are no different. Due to the dramatic decrease of financial support from Federal and state funding, many institutions are struggling to remain viable as they continue to serve the constituents in their districts. The purpose of this study is to explore significant emerging non-academic support issues as identified by community college auxiliary service administrators.

The qualitative case study employed purposeful sampling with maximum variation and a sequential multimethod data collection design. A national survey was conducted of community college auxiliary service members of the National Association of College Auxiliary Services (NACAS). This was followed by a state survey (Illinois) which was given to all single campus community colleges auxiliary service administrators. Illinois participants, who took the survey, were asked to volunteer for face-to-face interviews. Representation was obtained from six of seven Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) designated peer groups. One peer group was excluded as it contained only one college system and it was not a single campus institution. Six auxiliary service administrators across Illinois were interviewed.

The findings revealed that the current and emerging primary issues, for community college auxiliary administrators, are the bookstore and food service operations. Other emerging issues are technology purchases, building and maintenance expenses associated with aging buildings, and institutional subsidies for student support services such as early childhood centers. Within the departments managed by auxiliary administrators, both data-driven decision making and challenges regarding personnel were seen as taking most of their time and efforts. Findings illustrated how these administrators view the college as a whole organization and not as departmental silos. This unique “across the college perspective” can be of great benefit to senior leadership. As a result of the findings, the Mitchell Model for Professional Development is presented which can assist community college auxiliary service administrators in better preparing for the challenges they face today and in the future.