Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Larry H. Ebbers

Second Advisor

Robert J. Barak

Third Advisor

Frankie Laanan


Community colleges educate nearly half of all students in higher education. With the majority of presidents, upper-level administrators and faculty nearing retirement, community colleges are in the midst of a serious leadership shortage, and a potential leadership crisis. In addition, the community college presidency is changing nationwide to meet 21st century challenges of higher education, requiring a different set of traits, skills, and abilities for effective leadership. Given the complex, changing role of community colleges and their leaders and dwindling numbers of qualified candidates to meet the need for new leaders, the purpose of this study was to develop a profile of the characteristics and competencies of current male and female community college presidents and examine whether gender differences exists in the preparation of transformational leadership skills as delineated by the American Association of Community Colleges' (AACC) Competencies for Community College Leaders.;A survey was administered to a sample of current presidents from public, non-profit community colleges to draw inferences based on background characteristics, professional development, competencies, and leadership skills of the total population of individuals serving as community college presidents. Because this study intended to contribute to an existing body of knowledge, an original survey instrument was created so that new data could be collected as it relates to background characteristics, educational and leadership preparation, career pathways, faculty, staff, and public relations, and perceptions about the AACC Competencies for Community College Leaders (2005).;Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the data. By looking through the lens of a female researcher, this study adds to the limited research on gender differences in community college leadership from a woman's perspective. There were statistically significant gender differences in all of the variables addressing mentor-protege relationships. There was a surprising result of this study; yet, with consideration, males and females think differently, act differently, communicate differently and, thus, learn and lead differently. Thus, one gender is not superior or inferior to the other; rather, they are different. Future research should be conducted to ascertain how this uniqueness can be maximized and potential barriers eliminated to prepare new community college presidents in the new millennium.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Alethea F. Stubbe



Proquest ID


OCLC Number




File Format


File Size

166 pages