Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Eric S. Glover

Committee Members

Jasmine R. Renner, Craig A. Turner, James H. Lampley


The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the partnership role of noncredit continuing education in revitalizing the workforce during the economic crisis that started in 2008 in selected communities in East Tennessee. This research synthesized meaningful information regarding how the leaders of business and industry perceived the role of noncredit service providers as economic development partners.

This qualitative study was conducted using interviews of chamber of commerce officials in 9 of the 10 counties served by Walters State Community College. The participants indicated that they were interested in partnering with the noncredit department to accomplish the goal of helping displaced workers be retrained and employable.

In order to meet this goal, the respondents stated that communication is essential. The perceptions of the participants could serve as a catalyst for the community college to implement the specific changes identified by the respondents to the interview questions.

The synthesis of data collected from a microcosm of communities in East Tennessee and their relationship with Walters State Community College suggested that there was a perceived role of noncredit continuing education as a workforce revitalization partner. The data suggested 2 barriers negating the effectiveness of this partnership: communication and awareness. This may or may not be universally applicable to other colleges in other communities. Further research could synthesize meaningful information regarding noncredit programs in other communities and identify additional barriers between colleges and business and industry.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.