Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Fincher, Mark Edward

Committee Member

King, Stephanie B.

Committee Member

Wiseman, William M.

Committee Member

Davis, James E.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Community College Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Educational Leadership


Since the inception of AmeriCorps programs, reading, education and civic engagement has been emphasized in a large portion of the United States. Members enlist to serve schools and communities for 1 year, possibly 2. Upon completion of a member’s year(s) of service an education award is given which can be used to attend a community college, university or repay student loans. This study showed how AmeriCorps/America Reads programs partnered with community colleges and universities which recruited members to volunteer at school sites and community centers tutoring students in classrooms to improve reading, grades, engage in community service activities, use education award to attend college or pay off student loans, and increase employment in education. Mississippi was the main focus of this study. Minnesota and New York America Reads programs were also discussed in comparison. Findings indicated whether involvement in AmeriCorps/America Reads programs enhanced members’ decision to enroll or re-enroll in higher education, pursue a career in education and continue to volunteer in community service.