Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy



Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Kent A. Farnsworth, PhD


Altof, Wolfgang

Kohn, Dixie

Oliver, Diane (Cal. State - Fresno)


This study determined the existence of a community college model in Viet utilizing three theoretical orientations (human capital theory, social capital theory and organization theory) while reviewing the existing literature, formulating the research questions, examining the data and drawing conclusions. Eleven of the existing 12 community colleges were examined utilizing a multiple qualitative case study approach. During June 2009, field work was conducted in Viet Nam that involved visits to the 11 case study community colleges, to the Vietnam Association of Community Colleges (VACC), and to the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET). Data collection methods included semi-structured interviews, field notes from observation, document review, and photographs of the physical facilities. Results of the study indicate that although legislation does not exist to permanently establish the higher education institutions named community colleges, a community college model does exist and is in a state of evolution. The model can be defined by a set of core characteristics which emerged from the data in this study. Five themes were particularly prominent: (a) public higher education institutions with community ownership at the provincial or city level, in conjunction with Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) oversight for academic matters; (b) multi-disciplinary programs designed to meet the unique needs of the community; (c) multi-level certificates and diplomas are conferred up through the college level (three-year) of higher education and that articulation agreements with universities enable students to earn a university bachelor’s degree; (d) domestic and international partnerships actively are sought to develop social capital; and (e) scientific and technological research based on community needs as required in the 2005 Education Law. Decision makers, stakeholders, and domestic and international partners working with Vietnamese community colleges can utilize the findings of this study to analyze how the community college concept will enhance the higher education system without duplicating the functions of other types of colleges.

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