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ERIC Number: ED567317
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 216
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3037-7783-7
Community College Presidents' Understanding of Spirituality as Part of a Community College Institution
Beemer, Angela Rice
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Morgan State University
This study explored how community college presidents understood spirituality as part of a community college institution. Using a purposive criterion sample, five community college presidents were interviewed in the natural setting of their individual colleges. The interviews took place over a thirteen month period of time. A phenomenological approach to data collection and analysis was used to elicit participants' understandings of spirituality as part of a community college. This approach included three rounds of semi-structured, open-ended interviews and interview questions designed to uncover the essence of essential meanings of how community college presidents understand spirituality as part of a community college. The conceptual framework for this study was based on three assumptions: 1) individuals have the ability to engage in, reflect upon, and construct their own meaning (Mezirow, 1991); 2) individual knowledge construction is related to the search for meaning and purpose (Tisdell, 2003); and 3) the search for meaning and purpose has been marginalized in the western academy (Shahjahan (2005, 2007). This study found that community college presidents viewed spirituality as part of a community college institution through the framework of six themes: 1) life experience and leadership, 2) reflective thought and deeper meaning, 3) definitions, 4) legal responsibilities and boundaries, 5) whole-person development, and 6) connecting the college and culture. Each president constructed his or her own definition of spirituality based on their life experience and worldview. All of the presidents agreed that spirituality was part of the community colleges they lead, but it is manifested in different ways. There was no disagreement that students should have opportunities to explore meaning, purpose, and spirituality while attending their institutions, but each president reported that spirituality should not be forced or otherwise imposed upon anyone at their college. [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:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A