Community colleges are experiencing a leadership shortage due to the majority of college presidents retiring by 2011. This leadership shortage has created financial and operational challenges for the nation's community college system. To remedy the shortage, community colleges and other organizations have developed leadership development programs. The purpose of this mixed method descriptive case study was to assess program coordinators' perceptions to determine the extent to which leadership development programs have been effective in alleviating the leadership shortage. A sample of 50 community college leadership development program coordinators participated in this study. The use of quantitative descriptive and open-ended qualitative sources of evidence enabled an in-depth evaluation of program coordinators' perceptions of the effect of community college leadership development programs on the leadership shortage. This study demonstrates the complexity in determining the effectiveness of leadership programs. For example, program coordinators reported that leadership programs alleviated the leadership shortage (82.1%)1; however in the open-ended question, participants reported less confidence in the programs' overall influence. Moreover, while the majority of participants (64.3%), agreed that leadership development programs had, to some degree, alleviated the nationwide shortage; again, responses to the open-ended question on the nationwide shortage demonstrated less confidence in the program. However, program coordinators reported that leadership development programs are indeed valuable in not only alleviating the leadership shortage but in the improvement of leadership competencies. These programs enable those working in community colleges to learn the skills necessary for success as community college leaders. So, while coordinators expressed concerns over the program, these programs still hold intrinsic value. The primary recommendation arising from this study was that leadership development programs should be expanded, if not improved. Through such programs, leadership skills are increased in those individuals responsible for leading the nation's community colleges thus strengthening an important educational opportunity for many students. Furthermore, program coordinators and community colleges administrators should identify outcomes early in the development of a leadership development program to ensure that indicators exist by which to measure success. Finally, this study might serve as a foundation for additional studies in the effectiveness of leadership development programs.
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 71/06, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Community college education, Higher Education Administration, Educational leadership|
|Keywords:||Administrator shortage, Community college, Leadership development|
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