Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Larry H. Ebbers



As more females enter administrative positions in the field of education, the significance of females assuming presidency positions increases. With many administrators nearing retirement in the community college system, leadership opportunities for females will become more readily available.

The purpose of this qualitative study was to share the stories of female midwestern community college presidents from their first year in that leadership position. A total of five participants were interviewed using a series of semistructured interviews. The four research questions were: (1) How do female community college presidents describe their pathways to a presidency position? (2) How do female community college presidents view prior training, mentoring, and educational opportunities that led to successful experienced during the first year as a community college president? (3) How do female community college presidents view their experiences during their first year in that position? (4) How do female community college presidents explain any voids or deficiencies in their career pathway that made achieving success during their first year more challenging?

Through narrative analysis, each participant's unique stories led to the development of multiple themes for each research question. These themes offer words of wisdom for other females aspiring to leadership positions. The findings of this study contribute to the current body of knowledge about females in leadership positions in community colleges.

Copyright Owner

Darla Annette Nibbelink Struck



File Format


File Size

162 pages