Murray State Theses and Dissertations


In the face of enrollment declines (American Association of Community Colleges [AACC], n.d.; Barrington, 2020; Schwartz, 2020) and state funding cuts (Lorenzo, 2018), community colleges search for institutional strategies to gain competitive advantages in student recruitment and enrollment management. The four-day schedule has been used by a number of community colleges and four-year colleges as an institutional strategy to reduce costs (Cardinale, 2013; Chen, 2020; Moltz, 2008), improve employee morale (Ellen, 2011; Toppo, 2018; Wallace, 1981), and increase productivity (Bothwell, 2019; Ellen, 2011). Some institutions have adopted the four-day schedule believing it would provide a competitive advantage in student recruitment (Bothwell, 2019; Zarrella, 2008). This qualitative research study investigated community college employees’ attitudes toward the four-day schedule, while exploring perceived enrollment growth opportunities through this institutional strategy that are not commonly practiced. Of the 20 participants interviewed for the study, one held the position of CFO, 11 worked in positions related to admissions, six worked in federal TRIO programs, and two were involved with admissions and recruitment processes, categorizing their position as “other”. Findings from this study suggest the four-day schedule would create competitive advantages in student recruitment for community colleges, particularly for commuting and employed students. With student success a priority, this study’s findings revealed community colleges utilizing the four-day schedule must provide student access to campus services on the non-scheduled class day.

Year manuscript completed


Year degree awarded


Author's Keywords

four-day schedule, community colleges, institutional strategy, student recruitment, commuter students, employed students, rural

Dissertation Committee Chair

Teresa Clark

Committee Member

Randal Wilson

Committee Member

Landon Clark

Document Type