Presentation Details

The Fourth International Conference on Knowledge, Culture and Change in Organisations

Topology for Understanding the Acquisition of Knowledge in a Small, Liberal Arts College with Significant at-risk Population

N. Faye Angel.

As the economic, social, political and workplace worlds become more complex, institutions of higher education become increasingly under pressure to prepare their graduates to enter the work force and communities in a more-or-less seamless transition. Accountability and assessment of the learning organization are the resounding “buzz words” of politicians, administrators, accrediting bodies, and corporations. Yet, the literature addressing the organizational culture of universities and colleges primarily focuses on change, and how quickly adaptation to the pervasive uncertainties can be negotiated. These uncertainties have become especially problematic for institutions of higher education as they are steeped in tradition and find change difficult. Complicating this process of change is that currently there is no framework to study how knowledge is imparted to students during their tenure at colleges or universities. This paper identifies a topology that intends to provide a starting point for understanding how knowledge is acquired in a small, liberal arts college whose student body consists of a significant population of at-risk students. As educators search for methods to augment learning, academia is no longer considered the only dimension for transferring knowledge, e.g., extra-curricular has become co-curricular. These other educational dimensions need to be studied to identify shared goals, assumptions, and norms that facilitate collaboration of major stakeholders to equip students with the abilities and tools they need to face the challenges of the 21st century.


N. Faye Angel  (United States)
Associate Professor of Business
Division of Business, Information Systems, Mathematics, Accounting & Computer Science
Ferrum College

Dr. N. Faye Angel is Associate Professor of Business and Coordinator of the Business Program and Internships at Ferrum College. As an avid proponent of empowering students with abilities to meet the challenges of the 21st century, she has worked with students from the ages of 11 through adult, although her primary focus has been on traditional college-age students. Her research interests and publications have included the interfacing of technology and teaching, the role of portals in instruction and education, and developing e-portfolios to advance student knowledge and career options.

  • Knowledge Management in Colleges
  • Seamless Transition
  • Shared goals
  • Assumptions and norms

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)