Publication Date

Summer 2019

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Randy Capps (Director), Joseph Cangemi, and Jace Lux

Degree Program

Educational Leadership Doctoral Program

Degree Type

Doctor of Education


The statement often has been made over the years that university recruitment efforts are strongly impacted by campus facilities. The subject has been a topic of research over the past several decades. This study indicates that as generations change and times change, the significance of various aspects of the university to the prospective student change as well.

This research effort is a mixed-methods study to provide insight on the facilities current students deem most important when determining which college or university they will attend. The research for this study was conducted through an online survey asking students to:

• Choose which factors were most important in selecting a college.

• Select preferences related to various design elements (classroom color, furniture, and windows).

• Provide preferences on technology and how it is used.

• Rank the importance of specific facilities.

Students from six universities and colleges in Kentucky responded to the survey and provided data for evaluation. The study found little significant change had occurred from research completed by Reynolds and Valcik in 2007 on what students see as the most important factors for selecting a college. The five most important factors were a strong major in the field of interest; location of institution—nearness to home; pleasant and attractive campus/surroundings; location of institution—city, state, etc.; and preparation for a career. The facilities most important to students included facilities for their major, classrooms, libraries, residence halls, and dining facilities. Availability of technology also was of prime importance.

Based on the findings of this research, recommendations are made on developing campus-wide programs for improving communications and cooperation between divisions. The study further recommends taking the information gathered from the collaborative brainstorming sessions and student surveys to develop a continuous improvement program and facility improvement plan in an effort to provide a fiscallyresponsible institution with a primary focus of providing affordable, high-quality education to its students in appealing facilities.


Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Educational Leadership | Higher Education | Higher Education Administration