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dc.contributor.authorLatimore, Robbie Smith
dc.description.abstractThe purpose of this study was to understand how African American women community college presidents in the USA ascend to the presidency. The study was guided by the following research questions: (1) What is the typical career preparation of African American women presidents of community colleges? (2) What are the common strategies that African American women presidents of community colleges use to negotiate their careers? (3) What were the salient factors that affected or shaped their career paths? Eight African American women presidents of two-year colleges in the six accreditation regions that are recognized by the United States Department of Education were interviewed in this basic qualitative study. The constant comparative method of data analysis was employed to uncover emerging themes from the transcripts. The first finding of the study was that typical career preparation of African American women presidents of community colleges consisted of extensive preparation, which included holding several jobs throughout the college, frequently volunteering for special projects, acquiring and cooperating with a mentor, earning advanced terminal degrees (despite the career norms of White males and White females who held the jobs), and participation in leadership training. The second finding was that the Black women community college presidents negotiated their careers by: constructing a well-developed professional image that exuded confidence and by taking calculated risks that better positioned them for advancement. The third finding was the Black women community college presidents’ careers were shaped by their understanding of and management of the racism and sexism that they encountered and by strong reciprocal community and family relationships. Three major conclusions were indicated from the findings. First, the career preparation of African American women community college presidents is different because the women were held to higher standards than their counterparts because of racism and sexism and therefore the women "over achieved" and "over prepared" and "over credentialed" in an effort to counteract these implicit societal forces. Second, African American women community college presidents developed a deliberate yet flexible approach to their careers that was consistently cognizant of managing their images and that was informed by a mentoring collective. Third, African American women presidents were engaged servant leaders who constructed and nurtured a politically savvy persona that they used to engage the community as a base and support system.
dc.subjectAdult Education, African American Women Presidents, Career Development, Community Colleges, Higher Education, Mentoring, Positionality, Racism, Sexism, Women's Career Development
dc.titleRising to the top
dc.title.alternativea national study of black women community college presidents
dc.description.departmentLifelong Education, Administration, and Policy
dc.description.majorAdult Education
dc.description.advisorJuanita Johnson-Bailey
dc.description.committeeJuanita Johnson-Bailey
dc.description.committeeDesna Wallin
dc.description.committeeRonald M. Cervero
dc.description.committeeLaura L. Bierema

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