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ERIC Number: EJ887867
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 13
ISSN: ISSN-0194-3081
Learning to Be Reflective Leaders: A Case Study from the NCCHC Hispanic Leadership Fellows Program
Sullivan, Leila Gonzalez; Wiessner, Colleen Aalsburg
New Directions for Community Colleges, n149 p41-50 Spr 2010
In the constantly changing environment of today's community college, the practice of reflection may be of great value to new generations of leaders. How, then, do emerging leaders, and even seasoned ones, develop a disposition for and habit of reflection? This article suggests ways to do just that. Emerging leaders of community colleges are very intentional in their preparation for the executive role: (1) completing a doctorate; (2) attending professional development programs; and (3) seeking "stretch" assignments on their campus. Many doctoral programs and training seminars, and some individuals, have adopted the "Leading Forward" competencies developed by the American Association of Community Colleges as a framework for learning to lead. These competencies are clustered into six categories: (1) organizational strategies; (2) resource management; (3) communication; (4) collaboration; (5) community college advocacy; and (6) professionalism. Each category includes illustrative skills and behaviors. The last category, professionalism, emphasizes the importance of self-assessment through reflection; lifelong learning; and expressions of values, ethics, and authenticity. In the face of the current retirement tsunami due to aging baby boomers, the community college sector has mounted numerous national, regional, and institutional professional development programs to prepare the next generations of leaders. Most of these efforts are structured to convey needed leadership skills such as those presented in the Leading Forward model, as well as examining the nature of community college challenges and operations. Whatever the framework--competency-based or another model--for preparing community college leaders, with the external environment of community colleges changing constantly, it is not sufficient to simply expand the knowledge base and skills of training participants. It becomes essential to teach them how to "construct" knowledge for themselves based on environmental scanning, experiential learning, and constant reflection on the richness of leadership. Nevertheless, few training programs intentionally incorporate a component for participants to develop habits of reflection. This article presents current thinking on the importance of reflective leadership and describes a professional development program for Hispanics who aspire to the community college presidency, a program in which reflection is taught and encouraged as a learning approach. Suggestions for how this approach can be used by individuals, colleges, and training providers are offered at the conclusion of the article
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A