Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Davis, James

Committee Member

Campbell, Charles

Committee Member

Watson, Joshua

Committee Member

Sparkman, Lavinia

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Community College Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Leadership and Foundations


The community college is one of the most diverse institutions of higher learning in regards to the make-up of its student population. However, with such a large representation of diversity within its student population, the community college has not been as successful in diversifying the community college presidency. The purpose of this research study was to examine the career paths, barriers, and professional experiences of African American community college presidents and White community college presidents. A secondary purpose of this study was to examine potential recruitment strategies to recruit minority administrators. A total of 176 African American and White community college presidents were surveyed, and 105 (N = 105) surveys were used for the study. Fiftyive surveys were from White/Caucasian community college presidents and fifty surveys were from Black/African American community college presidents. A self-developed survey (Presidents’ Survey) was used to collect the data. Chi-Square, Analysis of Variance, frequencies, and percentages were used for data analysis. Results of the study indicate that African American and White community college presidents differ significantly in terms of marital status, graduation from a historically Black college or university (HBCU), make-up of student body at their institutions, location of their institutions, and in attendance of leadership development workshops. Results of the statistical analysis are presented in narrative and table form to answer the five research questions. The study concludes with a summary, conclusions, implications, and recommendations for further research.