Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Agricultural Education and Studies

First Advisor

W. Wade Miller


The resurgence of distance education, with the introduction of computer and communication technologies, has brought to the forefront the need for higher education to change the way it engages the lifelong learner. In addition, there is need to revisit the importance of the traditional land-grant mission in public higher education as universities and colleges seek to deliver education to the lifelong learner regardless of location or time. Distance education is becoming viewed as a means of meeting societal needs for lifelong learning.;In light of the Kellogg Commission report, the purpose of this research project was to assess the role of distance education in the mission of United States public higher education as perceived by university and college agricultural educators. Agricultural educators, from across the United States, were used as a starting point to identify the role distance education is playing in the mission, vision, goals, and strategic plans at their institutions. The purpose of this study was to determine the perceptions of agriculture educators toward the inclusion of distance education in higher education. The secondary purpose was to identify and examine factors affecting the organizational structure, faculty concerns, and the inclusion of distance education in the mission, vision, and goals and the change process. Conclusions from this study are as followed: (1) Distance education has been accepted as part of the agricultural education culture; however, the implementation of distance education and organizational changes maybe impeded because of respondent concerns regarding distance education and its interaction with a shared vision, the overall mission of the institution, and a lack of consensus among faculty, staff, and administrators, (2) Overwhelming support to nurture widespread adoption of distance education among faculty may be slowed by indefinite opinions regarding support and encouragement from administrators, (3) Respondents were more concerned about the impact of distance education on the technology, pedagogy, and workload, then the impact on their career paths, and (4) The organization's ability to change its structure of distance education initiatives, is dependent on the impact of distance education relative to the interpretation of the mission, vision, and goals of the university.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Paula Marie Teig



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

148 pages