Empowering Women To Lead: Reflections From Participants Attending The Aawcc Leaders Institute
MetadataShow full item record
Type of WorkText
DepartmentCommunity College Leadership Program
ProgramDoctor of Education
RightsThis item is made available by Morgan State University for personal, educational, and research purposes in accordance with Title 17 of the U.S. Copyright Law. Other uses may require permission from the copyright owner.
Current research indicates a mass exodus of community college leadership in the upcoming years (Fulton-Calkins & Milling, 2005). Scholars reflected a consensus on the need for good leaders, but far more disputed was how to develop strong leaders. Adding further to this dilemma was the possibility that men and women developed their leadership skills in different ways. The problem addressed in this study was that, historically, men have been the main gender studied in leadership theory, perpetuating leadership development from the male perspective. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to understand the essential nature of women midlevel and senior community college leaders' experiences attending the AAWCC LEADERS Institute and how this process transformed their leadership. Using Beatty (2011) as a guideline, transcendental phenomenology was used to collect and examine the perceptions of the women participating in the Institute. The central question for this study was "How do participants attending the AAWCC LEADERS Institute describe and perceive their experiences of leadership development?" The phenomenon in this study was the process by which 10 community college women faculty and administrators grew in their development of leadership competence. Participants responded to four prompts each day of the Institute. Journaling became an intentional act that enabled participants to engage in an intuitive/reflective process by revisiting their experiences of the day, examining their intuitions and perceptions, and reflecting on new meanings that changed their perceptions of leadership (Moustakas, 1994). All data were analyzed to look for textural and structural meanings to help describe the "essence" of this experience and provided an understanding of the participants' growth and transformation as leaders. The conclusions in this study addressed the following areas and were derived from the research findings: investigating participants' belief in "self" as a leader; analyzing participants' empowerment to do things differently; revealing the transformation of women's leadership via reflective journaling; examining how the AAWCC LEADERS Institute prepared faculty and administrators to lead; uncovering the value of viewing leadership through a female lens. Recommendations were made for leadership programs, current senior leaders and college administrators, developing midlevel and senior leaders, and further research.