CATON, JOYCE JEAN; EDD

                         EDUCATION, ADMINISTRATION (0514); EDUCATION, BUSINESS (0688)

                         Education reform reports in the last decade included specific recommendations to increase
                         business/community involvement in education. Former President Reagan challenged the nation's
                         schools to develop 110,000 partnerships with business across the country. This study described the
                         developmental processes in three school business partnership efforts using the conceptual framework
                         of Ronald Havelock's social interaction change process model. The model posits a five stage cycle (1)
                         awareness, (2) interest, (3) evaluation, (4) trial, and (5) adoption. Strategies and tactics associated with
                         the social interaction model were identified. Partnership programs in three Missouri K-12 districts were
                         analyzed. Each had been in existence for more than one year; the partnerships were voluntary and not
                         connected to federal or state funding. Descriptive survey methodology was employed. A structured
                         interview guide was developed that was sequenced to move through the five stages of the social
                         interaction model. A superintendent level administrator and the coordinator of the partnership program in
                         each of the three selected districts were interviewed. Data were summarized in the three conceptually
                         clustered matrices by selecting summary statements from the responses obtained in each of the five
                         stages. Personnel in two of the three school districts related the diffusion of their project to all five stages
                         of the social interaction model. Strategies employed by the three districts included natural diffusion,
                         natural communication network, and network building. The participants engaged in mass media, county
                         agent, salesman, and opinion leadership tactics. In each district the innovation was diffused throughout
                         the entire system within a three-year period of time. Several recommendations for additional research
                         were generated: (1) Measures of success need to be developed that could be applied to a variety of
                         partnership configurations or formats. (2) Longitudinal studies to explore the temporary or permanent
                         nature of partnership activities could determine the institutionalization of change in these three districts
                         as well as others with partnership activities. (3) Studies could be conducted to determine the impact of
                         partnerships on a variety of educational concerns such as drop-out rates, attendance, student
                         achievement, tax referenda, and the passage of bond issues.