According to the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) (2018), six leadership skills are crucial for successful leadership in community colleges. These competencies provide a valuable framework for evaluating leadership abilities and directing professional development in higher education administration. This paper will review the six leadership skills identified by the AACC and examine how my internship as a facilitator for Howard Community College’s Faculty and Professional Learning Community Program (FPLC) has improved these areas. Brief literature research will be done to address the competency area in which I have the least experience. Furthermore, I will create an action plan to use my internship and upcoming professional and academic development opportunities in the specified competency area.
AACC Leadership Competencies Review
The competency of organizational strategy emphasizes the significance of matching strategies with the college’s goal, vision, and values. This ability acknowledges the importance of comprehending the stakeholders, context, and organizational culture in determining the strategic direction of a community college (McNair et al., 2011). Strategic thinkers who can manage the intricacies of higher education institutions while maintaining the college’s mission at the forefront are needed as leaders. The second competency, resource management, emphasizes allocating and administrating resources, including facilities, staff, and budgets. Community colleges can efficiently support their missions and objectives thanks to this competence. Resource management is essential in a field where wise resource allocation is frequently required due to financial constraints. Community college leaders must be skilled at managing these resources to maximize student achievement and institutional efficiency.
Furthermore, communication competency emphasizes the value of solid communication abilities in establishing connections, encouraging collaboration, and disseminating information to various stakeholders. Effective community college administrators must be proficient communicators who can interact verbally and in writing with faculty, staff, students, and outside partners (AACC Board of Directors. 2018). The advancement of the institution’s mission and the developing of a positive campus environment depend on effective communication. The fourth competency, collaboration, emphasizes the need for community college administrators to cooperate with internal and external stakeholders. Crucial elements of this ability include fostering collaboration, workgroup facilitation, and conflict resolution through constructive means. In a community college context, McNair et al. (2011) state that collaboration is crucial when numerous stakeholders come together to improve educational opportunities and student achievement.
Additionally, the fifth skill, according to AACC (2018), community college advocacy, emphasizes the role of leaders in advocating for community colleges’ needs and value to policymakers, stakeholders, and the general public. Effective leaders act as spokespersons for their organizations and students, pleading for funding, recognition, and support within the greater educational landscape. The last skill is the focus on professionalism and ethical standards are on community college leaders who exhibit professionalism, integrity, and ethical conduct. Community college administrators should set an example for moral conduct by ensuring the institution follows strict moral principles and conducts itself with integrity.
The Benefits of Internship Experience
First, my internship gave me priceless insights into the strategic planning and mission-driven activities of the college in organizational strategy. I developed a deeper understanding of how strategic choices align with the institution’s objectivealign with the institution’s objective and support its expansion through involvement in conversations regarding educational advancement and community development. Also, my job as a facilitator in the communication area required me to guide talks and facilitate group interactions with teachers and staff members from all backgrounds. As a result, I developed the ability to successfully communicate complex educational topics, enabling all participants to contribute significantly to the conversation regardless of their academic background or discipline.
Furthermore, The FPLC internship placed a significant emphasis on encouraging collaboration and cross-disciplinary learning opportunities. I helped participants feel a sense of community by promoting conversations that promoted collaboration and inclusive campus environments. Therefore, I received practical experience in fostering collaboration through my participation in establishing a setting that promoted cross-disciplinary talks and teamwork. This skill will be crucial as I pursue leadership positions within higher education institutions.
Therefore, although my internship experience has improved these talents, my resource management abilities might still need some improvement. Resource management, which entails effectively managing funds, employees, and facilities to serve the school’s objectives, is crucial for effective leadership at community colleges. I plan to utilize additional professional development opportunities and resource management-related education to compensate for this shortcoming. I will actively look for classes or workshops on budgeting in community college settings and financial management in higher education.
Resource Management, a Competency with the Least Experience
Resource management, the strategic deployment of resources to support the institution’s mission and goals, is a crucial component of good community college leadership (Stone et al., 2022). I acknowledge that resource management is an essential talent that community college administrators must possess, despite my internship emphasizing other qualities like communication, teamwork, and organizational planning. Because of the little time I had to practice this ability during my internship, it has become clear that I need to do more in higher education administration to become a well-rounded and successful leader in higher education administration. To make up for this shortcoming, I am determined to pursue more professional growth opportunities, seek resource management experts’ mentorship, and actively participate in community college courses and financial management workshops.
An analysis of the literature on resource management in community colleges
In order to effectively manage resources in community colleges, the literature emphasizes the crucial relevance of financial and human resource management. These institutions frequently need help with budgetary restrictions, which calls for effective financial planning, allocation, and monitoring. In order to ensure that budget decisions align with the college’s mission and goals, Stewart and Brown (2019) emphasize the need for leaders to design strategies that maximize the efficient use of available resources. Similarly, Tull et al. (2023) point out that human resource management is crucial for fostering a healthy work environment and fostering the personal development of employees. Achieving institutional goals requires strong leadership in all aspects of personnel management, including hiring procedures, chances for professional growth, and performance evaluation. In this regard, community colleges’ overall success and viability depend critically on their capacity to effectively manage their financial and human resources. The multifaceted nature of resource management in these institutions is further highlighted by Hanaysha et al. (2023), who point out that facility upkeep and improvement are crucial for giving students a conducive learning environment and ensuring the institution can adapt to changing needs.
Additional vital aspects of resource management in community colleges include strategic resource allocation, sustainability, and the impact of state and local funding policies. The need to match resources with the strategic priorities and educational objectives of the institution is emphasized by Hargreaves (2022), who emphasizes the need for data-informed decision-making in resource allocation. It emphasizes the importance of allocating resources according to the institution’s mission and vision, ensuring that resources are focused where they will have the most significant impact. In addition, sustainable practices and operational effectiveness are crucial components of resource management in community colleges since they cut costs and align with more general environmental goals, promoting good resource stewardship. Last but not least, research frequently looks at how funding variations and policy changes affect community colleges’ capacity to meet their resource needs, demonstrating the intimate relationship between resource management and state and local financing policies. These connected components highlight how complicated and multifaceted resource management is in community college leadership.
Plan of Action to Address Resource Management Deficit
My strategic approach is intended to improve my competence in this crucial leadership ability as part of my action plan to solve my resource management shortfall. I will actively look for opportunities like workshops, courses, and seminars that specifically focus on various aspects of resource management within community colleges, such as budgeting, personnel management, and facilities oversight. First of all, I recognize the importance of professional development. These educational opportunities will provide me with a strong base of theoretical understanding and valuable skills. Secondly, I intend to seek advice and mentorship from seasoned professionals in community college resource management because mentoring is an essential opportunity for advancement. Learning from their wealth of knowledge and experience will provide me with priceless perspectives and insights that will help me successfully navigate resource management difficulties.
In addition, I pledge to look for jobs and responsibilities that closely relate to resource management in my future positions. I will be able to put the knowledge and abilities I get from professional development and mentoring into practice with this practical experience, enhancing my competency in resource management. Last but not least, keeping up with the latest scholarly and research developments in resource management in community colleges is critical. I will set aside time to routinely review pertinent literature and participate in conversations about this subject. I will stay current with best practices and new trends in resource management thanks to my constant commitment to study and scholarship, which will ultimately improve my knowledge and skills in this domain.
My internship as a facilitator for the Faculty and Professional Learning Community Program (FPLC) at Howard Community College has greatly aided in developing my leadership skills in areas including organizational planning, communication, cooperation, and community college advocacy. Nevertheless, I lack the most experience in resource management. I have created an action plan to overcome this shortcoming that calls for continued involvement in this field of study and research as well as professional growth, mentoring, on-the-job training, and learning from experience. By doing these things, I aim to improve my resource management abilities and become a better all-around community college administrator.
AACC Board of Directors. (2018). AACC Competencies for Community College Leaders (Third edition). American Association of Community Colleges.
Hanaysha, J. R., Shriedeh, F. B., & In’airat, M. (2023). Impact of classroom environment, teacher competency, information and communication technology resources, and university facilities on student engagement and academic performance. International Journal of Information Management Data Insights, 3(2), 100188.
Hargreaves, K. (2022). A Practitioner Perspective on Implementing Guided Pathways at California Community Colleges (Doctoral dissertation, University of Pennsylvania).
McNair, D. E., Duree, C. A., & Ebbers, L. (2011). If I knew then what I know now: Using the leadership competencies developed by the American Association of Community Colleges to prepare community college presidents. Community College Review, 39(1), 3–25. DOI:10.1177/0091552110394831 (Available through ProQuest)
Stewart, G. L., & Brown, K. G. (2019). Human resource management. John Wiley & Sons.
Stone, R. J., Cox, A., & Gavin, M. (2020). Human resource management. John Wiley & Sons.
Tull, A., Kuk, L., & Dalpes, P. (Eds.). (2023). Handbook for student affairs in community colleges. Taylor & Francis.