Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Stumpf, Arthur

Committee Member

Garner, Howell

Committee Member

Davis, James

Committee Member

Stonecypher, Wayne

Committee Member

Wiseman, William

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Community College Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Education


Department of Educational Leadership


The purpose of this study was to discover which southern universities have graduate preparatory programs in community college leadership and how, if at all, ethics is addressed in their curricula and in instruction. Surveys were mailed to 38 southern universities located in the Southern Regional Education Board member states. Of the 21 responses received, there were 16 usable responses from universities in these states. Through an examination of databases of Council for the Study of Community Colleges Graduate Studies and the American Association of Community Colleges Leadership Programs for Community College Professionals databases, 38 senior universities were found to have community college leadership programs. State programs were further confirmed through the survey to personnel listed on program websites for the universities. 15 of 16 southern universities responding to the survey item were found to have community college leadership preparatory programs that provide ethics instruction. Although the results of this survey indicate that the majority of the respondents include ethics in their curricula and in instruction, the manner in which they integrate it is varied and shows a lack of consensus among southern universities. Of the institutions that responded, the majority of respondents indicated that ethics instruction is integrated into specific discipline- or department-based courses. Offering ethics in an elective or general core course requirement was noted as a less common approach, but a viable alternative to the specific discipline- or department-based course method. Additionally, several respondents revealed that ethics instruction is institution-wide. This finding, in particular, is hopeful because it suggests that colleges are going beyond the confines of courses and degree programs and making ethics instruction a university priority. A review of the graduate preparatory programs in community college leadership courses, syllabi, and course descriptions revealed that a number of universities often incorporated instruction in ethics-based courses such as Ethical Decision Making or Ethics in the Workplace and Education. Conversely, the majority of the universities in this study addressed ethics through community college leadership core courses to include, but not limited to, The Community College, The History and Philosophy of the Community College, and Legal Aspects of Higher Education.