A Four-Dimensional Study of Background Check Policy in Higher Education
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This article is the second of a short series of works designed to articulate the results and research approach I utilized in my dissertation Analysis of Background Check Policy in Higher Education. In my first article, Evolution of Background Check Policy at Georgia Tech, I provided an overview of the context surrounding debates for and against background check policy in higher education, a summary of my literature review, and the results of the technical dimension (one of four dimensions) of my study’s conceptual framework. The majority of my data collection and analysis aligned with this technical dimension which consisted of understanding the planning, practice, implementation, and evaluation of Georgia Institute of Technology’s background check policy and program. Within this technical dimension I was able to provide a re-creation of the policy as a formal written document through interviewing relevant constituents and analyzing all its formal releases/revisions (June 2005, October 2007, November 2009, & May 2010). In this article, I articulate the results of my study within the remaining three dimensions of my conceptual framework. These three dimensions include first, the normative dimension which focuses on studying the beliefs, values, and ideologies that drive societies to seek improvement and change. Second, the structural dimension includes considering the governmental arrangements, institutional structure, systems, and processes that promulgate and support policies. Focus on this dimension included exploring/explaining the organizational structure of Georgia Institute of Technology as well as how the Institute’s background check policy was influenced and affected by related federal laws and University System of Georgia policy. Finally, the constituentive dimension includes considering theories of the networks, interest groups, providers or end users, and beneficiaries who influence, participate in, and benefit from the policymaking process.