Women of Color's Experiences and Strategies in Constructing Nonexecutive Community College Leadership: A Case Study

Women of Color's Experiences and Strategies in Constructing Nonexecutive Community College Leadership: A Case Study

Author: 
Debra R. Jenkins
Program of study: 
Ph.D./HEA
Abstract: 
Institutional disparities due to opportunity and equity gaps created an inability for nonexecutive leaders to generate leadership strategies at a comprehensive mid-sized community college in the Pacific NW region of the United States. A sense of urgency evolved due to the negative impact the gaps had on the following areas: (a) student retention, (b) employee retention, (c) work performance, (d) skill development, (e) job satisfaction, (f) mobility, and (g) longevity. Fifteen of the women of color prevented from the opportunity to actively reflect on generating leadership strategies were the participants for this study. A qualitative case study was implemented to explore what leadership strategies are used in nonexecutive community college positions. The Intercultural Development Inventory, the Six Core Competencies Survey, and the Intercultural Development Plan were the instruments used to gather information which included lived experiences and professional learning opportunities. A narrative analysis and descriptive statistics were used to interpret the findings. Findings from the study revealed areas in need of equitable institutional investment and key strategies applicable to nonexecutive leadership positions.
Dedication: 
I dedicate this dissertation to all the women of color who work in nonexecutive community college leadership. May your invaluable work become visible.
Acknowledgements: 
To the God of my faith represented in the personhood of Jesus Christ. To my husband of 35 years, Christopher, my children and in-laws in love, Christal (Chris T), Christopher II (Andria L), Christian, and Christina who provided care, love, and encouragement. To my grandchildren, JB and Portland, who absolutely light up their Nani’s life. To my adoptive mother, Ruby, and my late adoptive father, Hosea, for raising me to believe that I can do what I put my mind to do and Momma, you continued to remind me of that throughout the dissertation process. To the memory of my late biological mom, Bette, and late biological dad, Walter, whose prior educational endeavors kept me soaring towards my own educational goals. To all my biological and adoptive relatives who encouraged me along the way. To all my friends and colleagues who supported me on this journey. To members of my church family and church community who supported me in prayer. To the members of my Higher Education Administration cohort who cheered me on. To Dr. Mitch Hammer whose availability for a critical lens regarding the Intercultural Development Inventory and plan was valuable. To Dr. Jill Kelly who was the best writing coach ever. To my dissertation committee members. To Dr. David Benders whose commitment to my growth and development was appreciated. To Dr. Sharon Cronin for her consistency, her ongoing belief in me, her advocacy in difficult times, and her devotion to my process. To Dr. Vicki Koenig, for her encouraging and affirming words, and ongoing and continuing support despite other critical commitments.