Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Joseph C. Rost, PhD, Director; Wallace Cohen, EdD; William A. Schultze, PhD


Baltimore (Maryland), coalitions, Community College of Baltimore, higher education, Leadership studies, policy issue networks, values


The policy-making process is a complex human endeavor characterized by interactions among leaders and followers who do leadership by placing policy innovations on the political agenda and utilizing their resources to attempt change. If innovative change is accomplished, then the new policy must be implemented at the local level, in ways which may or may not reflect the intentions of those who desired the change, or those who created the new policy. This research focuses on an example of policy making in state government in the area of postsecondary education. The objectives of the study were to determine how coalitions form during the policy-making process, the ways in which leaders and followers enter and leave those coalitions, and the degree to which a systems model explains the process in this case. The study was also intended to examine the role of values in the policy-making process. The researcher utilized qualitative methodologies to explore the chronology of events in the takeover by the state of Maryland of the Community College of Baltimore, a small, urban college which attempted to serve the educational needs of underprepared students, primarily from the African-American community. The study includes information on the ways in which the policy was implemented at the college. The findings of the study indicate that coalitions form and are maintained on the basis of core values, and that two systems models together are more helpful in explaining the policy-making process than either of them is alone. The researcher concluded that policy issue networks on the state level are made up of coalitions of leaders and followers who intend real changes that reflect their mutual purposes. These coalitions may remain in place after the policy-making process has been completed, and may play a significant role in the successful implementation of innovative policies.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access