Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation


Educational Leadership and Policies


Educational Administration

First Advisor

Christian K Anderson


This dissertation examined two higher education federal activities, President Harry Truman's 1947 Presidential Commission on Higher Education and President Barack Obama's 2009 American Graduation Initiative, to understand how the federal government's mission for community colleges has evolved from one of student access to student success over the past 65 years. Using John W. Kingdon's agenda setting model, this study determined how each initiative appeared on the federal agenda and the activities surrounding each policy's success or non-success. This analysis emphasized the significance of understanding how individual policies shape federal involvement in higher education. Findings reveal the importance of stream alignment and policy entrepreneurs in the federal agenda setting process.