Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Academic Discipline

Community College Leadership


The American community college system is in the midst of a leadership crisis. Community college presidents are retiring at an alarming rate. Further exacerbating the leadership crisis is the lack of qualified candidates to replace the retiring presidents. Senior administrators at community colleges who are the natural choice to replace the retirees are also retiring or choosing not to pursue a presidency. The overarching purpose driving this research was to identify the challenges encountered by new community college presidents, seek to comprehend the information gathering method utilized by new presidents to identify challenges, and finally, to present the strategies the participants employed to address the identified challenges. The information garnered from the identifying, strategizing, and addressing of challenges will provide meaningful insight for future new community college presidents, thus easing the difficult transition period the large number of new community college presidents will be facing in the near future. The findings from the study demonstrated that new community college presidents seek information in both formal and informal manners. They prioritize challenges utilizing data driven decision making and intuition based decision making. Finally, the strategies they chose to employ when addressing challenges were extremely diverse in nature. However, a common theme among the diverse strategies is all presidents studied gravitate towards a collaborative problem solving approach. Further, each president exhibited a high level of self awareness relative to their leadership style.