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Expanding Leadership Diversity

 

The League for Innovation in the Community College and the Community College Leadership Program, Department of Educational Administration, College of Education, The University of Texas at Austin was proud to be a part of the leadership initiative ...

 

 

Historical information

The Expanding Leadership Diversity program was designed to prepare midlevel managers such as division and departmental chairs, assistant and associate deans, coordinators, affirmative action officers, and faculty who were considering moving into administration, for key decision-making positions. The program supported the education and development of community college leaders, giving special attention to minorities and those serving urban institutions.

The focus of the program was for preparation of senior-level administrative positions such as vice chancellor, vice president, dean, or director. Applicants with immediate interest in preparing for the presidency should apply to the League’s Executive Leadership Institute.

Program

Program activities were designed to assist promising community college midlevel managers and faculty of varied ethnic and cultural origins to achieve senior-level leadership positions in community colleges. 

The program included goal setting, guided professional development activities, significant experiential and self-directed learning, and opportunities to network with and learn from peers and community college leaders. The following were the major components of the program: 

1. The Mentor Relationship
Each Kellogg Fellow selected a mentor, usually from his or her home institution. This mentor relationship with an established community college leader was an important component of the program and was key to the success of the other program components. 

The mentor worked with the fellow to assist in clarification of professional goals, development of leadership skills, and the acquisition of knowledge and the development of strategies to address a critical issue facing the community served by the college. The fellow and mentor met regularly throughout the year to assess
progress in accomplishing the professional development plan and to adapt the plan as circumstances and opportunities arose. 

2. Professional Development Plan 
The professional development plan was a road map to the yearlong process of introspection, activity, and learning that constituted the fellowship experience. The professional development plan was designed with the mentor to help the fellow focus on career goals and objectives, needed skills and experiences, and resources to help develop these skills and experiences. The plan was tailored to meet the specific needs of the fellow. 

The plan included both long-range goals and short-range objectives targeted to develop specific skills or knowledge designed to increase the fellow’s leadership competencies. Short-range objectives varied from practical skills, such as learning to use a particular computer software program or the Internet, to projects that increased knowledge of such areas as institutional budget development or governance.  

3. The Seminars
Kellogg Fellows participated in two intensive seminars designed to assist them in reviewing their interests and abilities, to participate in discussions with outstanding community college and other leaders, and to develop familiarity with the range of issues facing community colleges and the communities they served. 

The weeklong seminars were held on the campuses of League for Innovation colleges. 

4. The Community Issue Project
Early in the program, fellows had an opportunity to review a number of critical issues facing their colleges’ communities. Each fellow selected an issue for in-depth study and determined the status and parameters of the issue as it existed in his or her community, reviewed how the issue affected the college, and developed perspectives on how it could most effectively be addressed through collaborative community effort. Finally, each fellow prepared a paper describing the outcomes of the project. 

5. The Internship 
Each fellow designed and participated in an internship experience during the program year. The purpose of the internship was to provide the fellow with experience in areas of college and community leadership in which he or she had not had previous experience. The internship were either at the home campus of the fellow, at another community college campus, or in a community agency. Some internships were designed to rotate among a number of offices, institutions, or community organizations to provide the fellow with a variety of experiences. Internships varied in length from a few weeks to a full twelve months depending on
individual circumstances.

As a result of the program, fellows were expected to develop an increased understanding of their leadership skills and abilities, increased knowledge of critical issues facing community colleges and their own communities, increased ability to act as change agents, increased college and community leadership skills, and membership in a national network of peers and community college leaders.