Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Public Policy & Administration

First Advisor

William Pelfrey, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Charol Shakeshaft, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Nancy Morris, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Natalie Baker, Ph.D.


The purpose of this study was to assess the extent to which community colleges have implemented major post-Virginia Tech campus safety recommendations. In addition to gaining a comprehensive overview of the safety policies and practices in place, this study assessed if campus safety policy implementation levels at the community colleges correlated with institutional characteristics, and the internal and external forces that helped drive the implementation of these policies. Focusing specifically upon the Virginia Community College System, data on the policies and practices in place at each of the 23 Virginia community colleges were collected from institutional websites and through follow-up telephone calls. Interviews were then conducted with a small group of administrators from various Virginia community colleges. Analysis of the data indicated that large variance exists across the community colleges, as some have implemented most of the major campus safety recommendations that currently exist, while other have only implemented far less. The results also revealed potential support for larger community colleges with more resources and more campuses implementing more campus safety recommendations. Interview data detailed that external mandates and internal college leadership are the most important forces driving campus safety policy change among the community colleges. A number of policy implications arose regarding where community colleges need to improve their campus safety and how to best drive campus safety policy changes in the future.


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