Theses and Dissertations

Author

Jan Reidunch

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University

Advisor

Davis, James E.

Committee Member

Wiseman, W. Martin

Committee Member

Stonecypher, Wayne

Committee Member

Garner, Howell

Date of Degree

1-1-2006

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Major

Community College Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

College

College of Education

Department

Department of Instructional Systems, Leadership and Workforce Development

Abstract

The development of effective and well prepared leaders is vital to the continued success of community colleges and their students. The community college movement boomed in the 1960s and 1970s, and it is now faced with massive numbers of retirements across the nation. Throughout its history, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) has made leadership development a priority and a central portion of its mission. Leadership roles are changing in the 21st century in America?s community colleges; therefore, we must reflect on our past to assist in directing our future. According to Young and Ewing (1978), a vast majority of the current leaders in Mississippi grew into leadership positions as the community college movement was developing. A sense of urgency has developed across the country with the release of a research brief by AACC entitled The Community College Presidency 2001. As leaders retire from the community college system nationwide, the leadership gap is widening. In 2001, fortyive percent of incumbent community college presidents said they planned to retire by 2007; in 2002, seventy-nine percent of incumbent community college presidents said they planned to retire by 2012. The average age of community college president is fifty-six (AACC Survey, 2001; Weisman & Vaughan, 2002). Mississippi is no exception since nine of the current Mississippi community college presidents could choose retirement at anytime. The ever-changing economic environment and the demand for technology require a new and improved community college leadership style in Mississippi. Therefore, the focus of this study was to identify the critical requirements for the future leaders of community colleges in Mississippi and determine what are vital traits and/or characteristics for their continued success in providing educational opportunities for all. Specifically, the overall goal of this study was to compare the AACC Competencies of an Effective Community College Leader to the predictive ability of the current Rural Mississippi Community College Presidents and each institution?s local Board of Trustees. The results of this research suggest the AACC Competencies of an Effective Community College Leader correspond more directly with the priorities of the local boards of trustees than the responses of the current presidents. The purpose of the study was to answer: Question 1: What are the critical leadership traits and characteristics required of future executive leadership roles at the Mississippi rural community colleges? Question 2: Is there a significant difference between the American Association of Community Colleges Competencies for Community College Leaders and the local board of trustees? priorities for a future community college president? Question 3: Is there a significant difference between the American Association of Community College?s Competencies for Community College Leaders and the traits and characteristics identified by the current Mississippi community college presidents? Question 4: Is there a significant difference between the traits and characteristics identified by the Mississippi community college presidents and the local board of trustees? rated list of priorities?

URI

https://hdl.handle.net/11668/20214

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