Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Academic Discipline

Community College Leadership


The purpose of this study was to explore the essential leadership practices, abilities, and experiences of Deans of Career and Technical Education (CTE) and to consider how these Deans of CTE fit into the succession process of the community college. A qualitative case study was conducted with three dyads of career Deans and their supervising senior administrators, using the comparative case method to analyze the data collected from the participants.

The data were collected from in-person participant interviews on their respective campuses. One Dean of CTE and the supervising senior administrator were at a rural college; one dyad was at a suburban community college; and the third Dean of CTE and the supervising senior administrator were at an urban institution. All three colleges were situated in the Midwestern section of the United States and had large student populations.

From the data analysis, three general themes emerged as the essential practices, abilities, and experiences that were demonstrated by the Deans of CTE: (a) formal education and professional development; (b) personal background and experience; and (c) mentoring and networking. These three overarching themes spiraled into one categorical outcome: the crucial need for career Deans to be visible across campus and program areas, as well as to be acknowledged in professional groups that exist beyond the institution. The implications of the findings lead to the need for deliberate planning and preparation of Deans of CTE for succession strategies through mentoring relationships and supervising senior administrative support.