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ERIC Number: ED516406
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 290
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1240-2629-9
Dimensions of Leadership among Community College Health Career Program Department Chairs and Implications for Leadership Development
Platz-Wiechert, Lynn Marie
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Northern Illinois University
Given the growth in community colleges, the projected need for health career workers, and the central position of the department chair in higher education, this study explored dimensions of leadership as identified by health career department chairs in five Illinois community colleges. Areas of study included: (a) professional profiles of health career department chairs and chairs' perceptions of, (b) important leadership skills, (c) significant challenges, (d) useful job strategies, and (e) leadership training needs. A mixed-method approach was applied using both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Surveys, a modification of a 1992 community college chair survey instrument, were sent to health career department chairs of five Illinois community colleges with follow-up interviews of three new chairs (1-5 years of experience), three practiced chairs (6-10 years), and three veteran chairs (11-20 years). While most chairs surveyed indicated that they planned to remain in the chair role at their current community college, indicating a level of stability in program leadership, a considerable number projected retirement within the next five years. Most either rose through the ranks or came to the chairship from professional roles in the field; neither path included formal preparation for the chair role. Health career department chairs identified an extensive list of skills they believe must be effectively developed to be a successful chair. These skills included administrative skills and leadership, interpersonal skills, and individual skills that are required on a daily basis to face challenges. Chairs identified fifteen challenges that are very important or important. To reduce the negative impact of these challenges, health career department chairs identified eight strategies that are useful in their current position. Particular to health career department chairs were skills related to the ability to discuss social issues; challenges in the areas of student diversity, technology, developing and maintaining clinical affiliations, and the increasing influence and impact of accrediting bodies; and job strategies such as curriculum reviews. Chairs also offered suggestions for initial and continuing professional development that would enhance their effectiveness. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois