Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Educational Administration and Foundations: Educational Administration

First Advisor

James Palmer


This qualitative study examined the process of adopting online education at three private colleges. All three institutions participating in the study were private Catholic colleges that offered their first online courses in the late 1990s. The research question posed for this study was: Within the participating institutions, how did online education get started and what was the process for its development?

Findings from this research indicated that, for an institution to successfully implement online education, four elements emerged: (a) some form of infrastructure needed to be in place that could support online education, (b) a latent force, referred to as an engine, was necessary to provide ongoing support, (c) an innovator, who had a strong interest in online education, was imperative, and (d) a brdige builder, who provided credibility, communication, and coordination between stakeholders, was critical to the sustainability of the online initiative. The institution successfully implementing online education also needed significant amounts of personnel, funding, and technology.


Imported from ProQuest Hansen_ilstu_0092E_10180.pdf


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