Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Higher Education Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Bettyjo Bouchey


Continuing or professional education administrators regularly participate in their university’s degree program approval process, as their schools serve adult learners who desire career-oriented education. Speed and efficiency to market are critical factors in ensuring high-quality, relevant, continuing or professional education programs; however, higher education decision making can be process laden and time consuming. There is limited scholarly research about the institutional factors that constrain and contribute to the efficiency and effectiveness of the new degree program approval process and its cycle time, even though it plays a critical role in institutional new product development. This phenomenological study foregrounds the perceptions, attitudes, and beliefs that continuing or professional education administrators have regarding their university’s new degree program approval process and cycle time. The findings advance our understanding of their lived experiences and emphasize that the new degree program approval process performs suboptimally; it is foremost a people-centered process, and governance and organizational autonomy influence its cycle time. Specific recommendations to streamline decision making and increase agility are offered, and suggestions for future research are presented.