Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Kortegast, Carrie A.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Counseling and Higher Education (CAHE)


This narrative inquiry study examined the lived experiences of African American women serving as community college administrators to gain perspectives on how they overcame obstacles to career advancement and strategies used to achieve the presidency. Narrative inquiry is used to restory field texts, is applied to underscore their lived experiences, and establishes a timeline detailing their early career experiences. Only one president sought to lead a community college; all others arrived at the presidency by non-traditional paths. Three themes emerged from responses provided by presidents during their interviews and are as follows: (a) nontraditional pathway to presidency; (b) heightened awareness of gender; and (c) the importance of mentoring, credentialing, and leadership development. This study adds to the limited literature on African American women community college presidents with the goal of emboldening and empowering future African American women to seek the presidency.


148 pages




Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type