Profile of African American women leaders in a southeastern community college system
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] The purpose of this study was to explore the perspectives and experiences of African American women administrators in a southeastern community college system. The study examined the personal and educational characteristics along with the career paths of the administrators. The study also investigated the factors that supported the career advancement of the administrators and the systems that impeded advancement. The study design was qualitative and employed the interview as the primary instrument to collect data. Eight African American women were interviewed at multiple sites. The study indicated that the women were family-centered and viewed preparation, hard work, and visibility essential to continued success as a leader. The study also found that the leadership perspectives of the leaders reflected both traditional and cultural elements. In addition, the study indicated that the women viewed mentors and sponsors essential to their career advancement. While the research revealed the existence of gender and racial bias in the campus cultures, the study also found that the women had developed coping strategies, including humor and social interaction.
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