Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) leadership competencies as gauged through the voices of female academic senators
by Ferri-Milligan, Paula, Ed.D., California State University, Fullerton, 2014, 172; 3577750
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore faculty perceptions about effective leadership skills, knowledge, and qualities as identified by female community college academic senators and to examine the relationship of those perceptions to the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) leadership competencies. Examining the perceptions of faculty members about excellence in leadership is important since faculty members drive the curriculum and directly impact the quality of instruction for students. Examining and acknowledging the female voice, a voice that represents over 50% of community college faculty members in the United States, is critical if administrative leaders are to lead effectively. If perceptions between administrative leaders and faculty differ, a leader's ability to lead an institution effectively is challenged. Exploratory research was enlisted in this study because it stems from the pragmatic concern for finding solutions to problems. Fifteen female academic senators were interviewed at three community colleges. Open-ended questions were asked at these one-on-one interviews.

Eight higher-level themes were identified through the analysis of participant data: (a) people management, (b) communication, (c) self-efficacy, (d) decision-making, (e) institutional knowledge, (f) empathy, (g) acceptance of criticism, and (h) appreciation. These themes were compared to the six leadership competencies that were developed by the AACC: (a) organizational strategy, (b) resource management, (c) communication, (d) collaboration, (e) community college advocacy, and (f) professionalism. The results suggested that the skills, knowledge, and qualities identified by the participants in this study were represented in the AACC competencies to varying degrees. However, the themes that emerged from participant dialogues and the categories presented by the AACC competencies deviated in their organizational approaches. The human resource organizational frame emerged as the foundation for faculty perspectives about excellence in leadership. However, the structural frame dominated the AACC competencies. The findings suggested that the AACC competencies may be directed by acknowledging the differing perspectives of various constituent groups at the community college and the foundations from which those perspectives originate. The findings also suggested that leadership training programs, community college recruitment of leaders, and educational policies can be informed by continuing to examine various constituents' perceptions of leadership effectiveness at the community college.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Currie, Ding-Jo
School: California State University, Fullerton
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 75/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Community college education, Higher Education Administration, Educational leadership
Keywords: AACE Competencies, Community College Leadership, Educational Leadership, Female Community College Faculty
Publication Number: 3577750
ISBN: 978-1-303-63698-1
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