Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education, Higher Education

First Advisor

Franklin A. Tuitt, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Arthur Jones

Third Advisor

Linda Bowman

Fourth Advisor

Shemelis Assefa

Fifth Advisor

Dores Cruz


Critical pedagogy, Ghanaian higher education crisis, Postcolonial theory, United States, Community college


The higher education systems throughout the continent of Africa are undergoing unprecedented challenges and are considered in crisis. African countries, including Ghana, all have in common ties to their colonial legacy whereby they are confronted with weak policies put in place by their colonizers. Having gained their independence, Africans should now take responsibility for the task of reforming their higher education system. To date, nothing substantial has been accomplished, with serious implications for weakening and damaging the structures of the foundation of their educational systems. This qualitative, single case study utilized a postcolonial theory-critical pedagogy framework, providing guidance for coming to grips with the mindset posed by Ghana's colonial heritage in the postcolonial era, especially in terms of its damaging effects on Ghana's higher education system. The study explores alternative pathways for secondary school students to transition to tertiary education--a problematic transition that currently hinders open access to all and equality in educational opportunity, resulting in a tremendous pool of discontinued students. This transitional problem is directly related to Ghana's crisis in higher education with far reaching consequences. The alternative pathway considered in this study is an adaptation of the U.S. community college model or an integration of its applicable aspects into the current structures of the higher education system already in place. In-depth interviews were conducted with 5 Ghanaian professors teaching at community colleges in the United States, 5 Ghanaian professors teaching at universities in Ghana, and 2 educational consultants from the Ghanaian Ministry of Education. Based on their perspectives of the current state of Ghanaian higher education, analyzed in terms of pedagogy, structure/infrastructure, and curriculum, the participants provided their perceptions of salient aspects of the U.S. community college model that would be applicable to Ghana's situation, along with other recommendations. Access to all, including equality of educational opportunity, was considered essential, followed by adaptability, affordability, practicality, and quality of curriculum content and delivery. Canada's successful adaptation of the U.S. model was also discussed. Findings can help guide consideration of alternative pathways to higher education in Ghana and Africa as a whole.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

John Kwame Asubonteng Rivers


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

202 p.


Higher Education