Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Department of Educational Administration and Foundations: Educational Administration

First Advisor

Lydia Kyei-Blankson


Due to its flexibility and convenience, online education has become a feasible alternative for degree seeking students who are unable to attend a traditional higher education institution. Although online courses and programs have their benefits, there remains an ongoing debate on issues related to credibility, quality, and acceptability among certain stakeholders including faculty, administrators, and employers. The current study focuses on one group of academic stakeholders-namely, academic hiring gatekeepers and employers; that is, those who are directly involved in the hiring process of faculty and administrators. Specifically, the objective is to explore hiring gatekeeper and employer acceptability of online degrees as a sufficient credential for employment in institutions of higher education. While there are many assumptions and commonly held perceptions in the academic community regarding the value and quality of online degrees, the purpose of this study is to simply describe these views and attitudes. The data for this study were collected primarily through in-depth interviews and a survey apparatus that was implemented online. The overall design proposed for this study was grounded in the mixed-methods approach to data collection (Creswell, 2003). Data gathered from 102 surveys was examined using ANOVA and Chi-Square analysis and the statistical relevance of the findings suggest that within higher education, there continues to be a robust debate among academic hiring gatekeepers in higher education regarding the quality and rigor associated with online degrees. Moreover, study findings also reveal that academic hiring gatekeepers perceptions of online degrees do influence the hiring practices for positions. Finally, data from the in-depth interviews demonstrates that institutional reputation was a critical factor when making faculty and administrator hiring decisions.


Imported from ProQuest SinowMandelbaum_ilstu_0092E_10143.pdf


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