Date of Award

Fall 10-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Rhonda Bishop

Second Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Third Advisor

Dr. Terry Reid


Political advocacy is comprised of speaking on the behalf of a cause or participating as part of a political action group (Weerts, Cabrera, & Sanford, 2010). Because state financial support for public higher education has not been maintained at previous levels, higher education (HE) institutions have been recruiting alumni in an attempt to win state appropriations. As discovered by Avery (2012), very little research exists on the role of alumni associations in political advocacy efforts. In this study, a quantitative research approach was conducted to gather data on D1 public college and university alumni associations. The instrument utilized in this study was an online survey. Executive directors of alumni associations were invited to partake in the political advocacy survey over a 30-day period. The majority of alumni association executive directors reported their alumni association played a minor role in political advocacy. The largest group of alumni directors stated their associations had been politically active for more than 20 years. The most used tactic in political advocacy efforts was email. The least used tactic was to organize and hold public demonstrations. Data were collected for alumni associations nationwide and were compared by region of the country where each alumni association primarily operated. A majority of alumni directors said they did not collaborate with other colleges and universities. Even fewer alumni directors admitted collaborating with non-profit organizations or corporations. Alumni directors were asked to rate their level of support from the two major political parties in state legislatures. Ratings were assigned for political parties, HE committee members, and party leaders. Overall, Democrats and Republicans were rated somewhat similar except in the descriptive options of very supportive and unsupportive.


Copyright 2015