Date of Award

Fall 12-18-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Jonathan A. Greenberg, Ed.D

Second Advisor

Martinrex Kedziora, Ed.D

Third Advisor

Linda Williams, Ed.D

Abstract

Community colleges in California are the primary source for preparing the early childhood care and education (ECE) workforce. The California child development lab school mission is to prepare ECE practitioners, provide a laboratory where college students can study and research child development/education, and offer a service to children and families. There are many benefits that are derived from laboratory schools but many community college lab schools have been reduced and/or closed over the past three years. The purposes of this Delphi study were (a) to examine the most pressing issues, problems and barriers facing California community colleges child development labs schools; (b) rate the importance of the issues, problems, and barriers identified; and (c) elicit experts’ recommendations for the most viable solutions to help California child development laboratory programs maintain viability. A Delphi method was utilized procuring a panel of ECE experts that identified and rated the most pressing issues, problems and barriers, and generated viable solutions for California child development laboratory schools’ viability. The key statistical processes used in this Delphi research were measures of central tendency and measures of dispersion. The ECE experts recommended solutions to increase a greater understanding of early childhood care and education, allow more support, and secure more financial assistance for the lab schools. A comprehensive infrastructure approach of government, policymakers, and community college leaders is required for California community college child development lab schools’ viability. The data gathered from this study develops five potential benefits for laboratory schools including: (1) providing rationale for policy construction regarding statewide community college lab programs; (2) deciphering the most pressing problems and barriers that California community college child development laboratories are facing; (3) soliciting solutions to maintain viability for child development lab programs; (4) contributing to the development of statewide recognition and possibly legislation on funding sources for California community college child development laboratories; and (5) ensuring the survival of California community college child development laboratory schools.