Date of Conferral







James P. Keen


Historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) lag behind predominantly White institutions in their production of online courses and degree programs because of nonexistent or inadequate technology training for faculty members and limited financial resources. The purpose of this qualitative comparative case study was to obtain insight into how decisions are made on technology deployment and integration of online programs at HBCUs. Guided by Donaldson's contingency theory, this case study addressed how decisions are determined at HBCUs to integrate online learning programs into the curriculum and how the individuals who make these decisions perceive online learning programs. Survey responses were collected from 16 administrators, chief information officers, and faculty department heads at 3 HBCUs. Frequency data from the surveys led to themes were confirmed by the analysis of interviews and campus documents. Emergent themes included the integration of online programs, interest in online learning, incentives/compensation and release time, mission and goal statements, strategic plans, and professional development. All 3 HBCUs have a process in place for measuring progress and updating strategic plans. Only 1 HBCU had incentives to encourage faculty or administrators to participate in technology deployment, although all 3 HBCUs offered professional development courses and seminars. Online learning was not included in any of the 3 HBCUs' mission and goal statements. Faculty interest in teaching online courses was high at 2 of the HBCUs. Among the implications of these findings for research and practice was the possibility of promoting positive social change through developing and applying improved strategies for technology deployment at HBCUs that might provide better services to students.