Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Fincher, Mark Edward

Committee Member

Armstrong, Christopher C.

Committee Member

Coats, Linda T.

Committee Member

King, Stephanie B.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Community College Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Educational Leadership


This dissertation examined if community college governing board structure and trustee selection influence institutional and student outcomes. This study employed a causal-comparative design and one-way between subjects ANOVA to examine the effects of board structure and trustee selection on the average cost of attendance, graduation rate, and salary after attending. The participants were 894 public community colleges in the United States. The independent variables included board structure (local boards versus statewide boards) and board composition (elected boards versus appointed boards). The independent variable data were collected from a report, Public Community College Governing Boards: Structure and Composition, compiled by the Association of Community College Trustees. The 3 dependent variables (i.e., average cost of attendance, graduation rate, and salary after attending) was collected from pre-existing publicly available data from the United States Department of Education College Scorecard. The research indicated that a locally governed board does result in a lower cost of attendance. The results also signaled that community college boards with elected boards of trustees have a lower cost of attendance and a higher salary after attending.