Innovative Higher Education

, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 189–199 | Cite as

A Tale of Three Cities: Piloting a Measure of Effort and Comfort Levels within Town-Gown Relationships

  • Stephen M. Gavazzi
  • Michael Fox


This article extends the argument that scholarship on marriages and families provides invaluable insights into town-gown relationships. First, a four-square matrix constructed from the twin dimensions of effort and comfort levels is used to describe a typology of campus and community associations. Next the construction of the Optimal College Town Assessment (OCTA), a measure that contains items reflecting both the effort and comfort dimensions, is discussed. We offer an analysis of data from a pilot study utilizing the OCTA with a sample of 602 individuals employed in three communities surrounding the regional campus of a major university, with particular attention paid to variation as a function of distance from the campus. We include a discussion of the implications of the findings for assessment efforts targeting town-gown relationships.


town-gown typology measurement campus community 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Human Development and Family ScienceThe Ohio State University at MansfieldMansfieldUSA
  2. 2.Department of Geography & EnvironmentMount Allison UniversitySackvilleCanada

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