Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Jeremy Lipschultz

Second Advisor

Dr. Robert Carlson

Third Advisor

Dr. Bernard Kolasa


The purpose of this study was to investigate the communication process between the Iowa legislature and Iowa's community college system. The primary theoretical issue which was studied involved information subsidies. Information subsidies, a subcategory of agenda-setting theory, suggests that an information subsidy is an attempt to produce influence over actions of others by controlling their access to and use of information relevant to those actions. It is referred to as a subsidy because the source of that information makes it available at something less than the cost (or effort) a user would face in the absence of the subsidy (Gandy, 1982). For the purpose of this study, information subsidies was defined as any type of contact or message (written or oral) from a community college representative to a legislator; directly or through another source. This study employed Stephenson's (1953) Q-Methodology as a statistical method to study the issues of information subsidies between the two groups. The q-sort technique was used as a measure for assessing beliefs, attitudes or values. McLeod and Chaffee's (1973) Coorientational Measurement Model assisted in the qualitative evaluation of the study.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Communication and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska at Omaha In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright Margaret A. Eyerly November, 1993