Date of Conferral







Cheryl Keen


Higher education institutions in Ghana are challenged in providing access to affordable education to accommodate all qualified students for postsecondary education. Most Ghanaian students seek skills and knowledge to prepare them for a global workforce. The study's purpose was to investigate the adaptation of the U.S. community college's 2-year model for training students in Ghana's higher education system to participate in high skilled employment in business and industry, using a conceptual framework drawn from Becker's theory of human capital. The research questions focused on what support students need to participate successfully in Ghana's higher education system, and what concerns stakeholders have regarding higher education in Ghana that might be addressed by the U.S. community college model. This qualitative study included individual and focus group interviews with 11 participants, including college students, faculty, staff, the registrar, and community business partners. Data were analyzed to find emerging codes and themes. Results showed that participants perceived a variety of challenges that limited their access to and participation in higher education including: financial issues, lack of preparation in critical thinking, inadequate academic facilities, and inequitable distribution of education subsidies. Participants expressed the need for campus-based career development programs, partnerships with community business organizations, and employable skills and work experience. Findings may contribute to positive social change by encouraging entrepreneurship education that might help create wealth to break the cycle of poverty. Higher education administrators may be encouraged to provide practical education to address the problem of youth unemployment.