Abstract Mitchell - A Study of the Leadership Practices of North Carolina’s Public School Superintendents, Two-Year Community College Presidents and Public University Chancellors: Implications for the Success of the Seamless Education Highway Concept

A Study of the Leadership Practices of North Carolina’s Public School Superintendents, Two-Year Community College Presidents and Public University Chancellors: Implications for the Success of the Seamless Education Highway Concept

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TITLE: A Study of the Leadership Practices of North Carolina’s Public School Superintendents, Two-Year Community College Presidents and Public University Chancellors: Implications for the Success of the Seamless Education Highway Concept
 
RESEARCHER: James M. Mitchell
Department of Educational Leadership
Fayetteville State University (North Carolina)
Doctoral Dissertation: December 1999

OBJECTIVE
To measure the leadership practices of North Carolina’s public school superintendents, public community college presidents and public university chancellors, and examine whether leadership practices were related to various demographic data.

METHODOLOGY
The sample consists of 106 public school superintendents (91%), 53 public community college presidents (90%), and 12 public university chancellors (75%) in North Carolina. The typical respondent was a man (89%), Caucasian (88%), between the ages of 46-55, with a model years in educational administration of 21-25 years and a doctoral degree (75%). in the sample Respondents completed the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI-Self) and provided the following demographic information: age, years of educational administration experience, amount of time spent on professional development, the primary opportunities they use to learn new skills (either learning by doing, learning from others, and learning by way of the classroom), gender, level of education, and institutional size (number of students).

KEY FINDINGS
The rank order of leadership practices from most to least frequent was Enabling Others to Act, Modeling the Way, Encouraging the Heart, Inspiring a Shared Vision, and Challenging the Process. Public school superintendents, community college presidents and public university chancellors were significantly different in their use of the five leadership practices. Both community college presidents and university chancellors differed significantly from public school superintendents (with the college or higher education presidents systematically engaging more frequently in each of the practices than the superintendents of public secondary-education schools). Statistically significant differences were reported for the leadership practices of Challenging and Inspiring. The chief executive officers did not differ significantly on any of the various demographic characteristics. Most of these educational leaders reported little familiarity with the seamless education highway concept.

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