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Corporate /college partnerships and their impact on corporations and institutions of higher education: A corporate perspective

Gina Christine Grubb, Johnson & Wales University


The purpose of this multicase study was to explore partnerships between corporations and institutions of higher education that contribute to the academic attainment for the professional development of the workforce. Corporations have increasing expectations that employees be knowledgeable. One vehicle to achieve this is through partnerships among corporations and institutions of higher education. Increasingly, higher education institutions are forming partnerships with these corporations to provide the education for a more knowledgeable workforce. These partnerships provide education, training and development opportunities for employees, often for academic credit. This translates into new expectations for workforce knowledge, training, skills and provides perpetual learning opportunities for employees, vendors and customers. Corporations and institutions of higher education recognize evolving technologies, the emergence of a global economy, the need to serve, develop and maintain an educated and competitive workforce in the 21st century. The researcher purposely selected six corporate representatives that were responsible for the development of corporate education and partnerships. The six corporations were three insurance corporations (with one in financial services), two manufacturing (with one in high-technology) and one retail corporation. The researchers collected data in a triangular approach, which included: interviews, observations (when convenient and appropriate) and printed documentation. The researchers purposely selected corporations and institutions of higher education that did not have current partnerships with one another. This allowed for a broader base of information to be collected and studied in this research. The findings in this study include the following: (1) descriptions of the characteristics and structures of partnerships between corporations and institutions of higher education, (2) activities involved in developing partnerships with corporations and/or institutions of higher education, (3) organizational and financial arrangement of partnerships, (4) success factors and problem factors in developing partnerships, (5) effects these partnerships have on corporations, and (6) future directions for these partnerships. A typology of the primary characteristics was developed from the corporations and is provided within this study. The study concludes with recommendations for further studies.

Subject Area

Adult education|Continuing education|Bilingual education|Multicultural education|Higher education

Recommended Citation

Grubb, Gina Christine, "Corporate /college partnerships and their impact on corporations and institutions of higher education: A corporate perspective" (1999). Dissertation & Theses Collection. AAI9999553.