Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Academic Discipline

Community College Leadership


Planning is believed to bring stability, growth and reassurance to our lives. Since the recent economic downturn in the U.S. economy, individuals, families, small businesses, and major corporations are all looking to planners to assess every aspect of their financial futures. So, when it comes to our community colleges, the fabric of higher education in America, who is leading the planning process?

The 21st century will continue to unveil new challenges for community colleges. Beset with many challenges such as an austere funding environment, growing diverse student populations, community issues and needs, impending leadership and faculty retirements, globalization, and mounting pressures of accountability from accrediting bodies and external constituents, community colleges leaders must employ measures that promote institutional viability. Leadership and planning are two essential components for the viability of community colleges. Strategic planning leadership is vital for the survival and growth of community colleges during these uncertain times.

This study explores strategic planning leadership in Illinois community colleges in an attempt to identify the leader responsible for facilitating the strategic planning process, the impact of their role, and how they influence the process. In addition, the study examines the similarities, commonalties, and differences in the strategic planning process among Illinois community colleges. Findings of this study are that community colleges in the state of Illinois show great similarities in their strategic planning processes. The study also found that individuals responsible for leadership of strategic planning activities highly correspond with the skills associated with behavioral leadership theory, showing both concern for people as well as concern for the tasks of strategic planning. This information will be useful to community colleges attempting to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow through the planning process as well as provide insight into the type of leadership needed for strategic planning in community colleges during these ever-changing times.