ERIC Number: ED477486
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002
Reference Count: N/A
Leadership for Change: Working for Community Change in Rural America.
MDC, Inc., Chapel Hill, NC.
The Rural Community College Initiative (RCCI) is a national program that supports the efforts of community colleges in distressed rural areas to move their people and communities toward prosperity. RCCI's goals are increasing access to education and developing regional economies. RCCI demonstration sites have produced a wealth of information about community change. The community engagement process used by RCCI is based on four basic principles: 1) to achieve significant reform, change must occur at five levels--individual, interpersonal, institutional, systemic, and public policy; 2) people-in-relationships, not individual crusaders, are the lifeblood of sustainable change; 3) communities, institutions, and their citizens are best defined not by their deficiencies and shortcomings, but by their assets, strengths, and creative imagination; and 4) change is a verb, not a noun, and it cannot be delivered overnight. The RCCI change process is premised on the development of leadership teams consisting of the college president, administrators, and faculty as well as representatives of local business, government, public schools, and community organizations. Leadership teams set goals, develop strategies, identify partners, implement a plan, and evaluate that plan. It's not impossible to tackle development problems with only technical solutions, but the long-term viability of communities rests on the ability of its leaders to learn, adapt, and behave differently. Leadership development is at the core of community change. When leadership teams work collectively, sharing power and resources, a stronger foundation of community-based change is established. The skills needed for leading change at the inner, interpersonal, organizational, community, and systemic/policy levels of leadership development are discussed. (TD)
Descriptors: Change Strategies, College Role, Community Colleges, Community Cooperation, Community Development, Economic Development, Higher Education, Leadership Qualities, Poverty Areas, Rural Development, School Community Relationship, Teamwork
For full text: http://www.mdcinc.org/pdfs/leadership.pdf.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: MDC, Inc., Chapel Hill, NC.