Date of Award

Winter 2009

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Foundations & Leadership


Community College Leadership

Committee Director

Edward Raspiller

Committee Member

Kaethe P. Fergusom

Committee Member

Mitchell R. Williams


Post-secondary education will face an impending shortage of leaders in the near future. Two-year colleges in particular are facing a dearth of leadership. Many administrators and faculty that were part of the great growth period in community colleges in the 1960's are near retirement. Therefore, developing or sustaining sufficient institutional leadership is a critical and urgent issue that must be addressed. Two-year colleges need to develop and implement leadership development programs in a timely manner to ensure a qualified pool of faculty and staff are ready to ascend to leadership positions.

The purpose of this study was to examine the critical components, delivery methods, and role of distance learning technology in educational leadership development programs in two-year colleges. This non-experimental, mixed methods study investigated the diversity of leadership development programs for current commonalities of program components and delivery methods. Leadership development program directors at two-year colleges accredited through the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools were surveyed. Follow-up interviews were conducted with participants who responded distance learning technologies were utilized in the delivery of leadership development programs.

Survey responses from 39 program directors were analyzed and subsequent interviews with five program directors were conducted. Through the results of the survey and interviews a program planning model emerged. The Proprietary Leadership Development Program Planning Model offers a solution for two-year college leaders who seek to develop leadership development programs for their institutions. The model presents a two part process, selecting program components and delivery methods, with suggested guidelines based on recommendations from the results of this study. This model will contribute, ideally, to the growth and development of leadership programs at two-year colleges, thus growing the pool of leaders in a timely manner and mitigating one of the significant challenges facing two-year colleges in the 21st century.