Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Does GENDER Make a Difference in the Preparation and Promotion Higher Education Administrators?

In the article entitled, “Gender Differences in the Preparation and Promotion of Community College Administrators”, Kim E. VanDerLinden exposes many of the differences between males and females in executive positions that exist in higher education. The main point that the article highlighted was career advancement among males and females at community colleges. Some of the secondary points that were highlighted under career advancement were the relationships between gender, human capital, and promotion. The findings of the article indicated that there was not a difference between women and men in terms of career advancement at a community college.

Women are given more educational and employment opportunities at community colleges. This number is significantly higher than four-year colleges and universities (AACC, 2000; Townsend, 1995). As a result of this growing number, the women are not being trained properly in terms of career advancement, career patterns, and professional development. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, “In the next few years, almost 45% of community colleges will have openings in their presidential positions”. The key question behind this matter is, “Where is the new leadership going to come from?” In general, women and men that are currently employed by community colleges are not being prepared for such leadership positions.

The evidence that the author uses to make her main points are from such sources as the National Profile of Community Colleges, the New Directions for Community Colleges Journal, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. These are very credible sources, because they are all research intensive documents. The statistics that is gathered from these sources are astounding, because community colleges are in an inherent crisis. These colleges need leaders to help guide their institutions on the right path and to accomplish their particular mission statement.

It is interesting, because I completely agree with every contention that the author makes. 
These contentions are stated after the study is conducted and the results are analyzed. Some of the contentions that were stated are: (1) women who aspire to advance into leadership positions should actively plan and develop multidimensional goal-oriented career paths, (2) women who are currently in upper-level administration have the opportunity to shape the organizational culture, and (3) the current leadership crisis may provide opportunities for women to advance.

This article significantly contributed to my understanding of leadership, because I am able to see a qualitative and quantitative study about women in administrative positions at a community college. In the past, I have always read documents about women in leadership positions at institutions of higher education and the problems that they may encounter. 

This article put everything into perspective, because there are inherent differences and likenesses between in genders in regard to higher education. The common belief is that women are not participating in as many professional development opportunities and do not have as much campus involvement that men do. The actual statistics show that women have much more involvement than men do and that they participate in professional development opportunities more readily than men do.

In conclusion, community colleges are not that different from universities, but it will be interesting to see what types of professionals are going to take these leadership positions in the next few years.

1 comment:

  1. Jennifer, great post. I hope you'll visit Women in Higher Education (www.wihe.com). We share this information as well. If you're ever interested in writing an article for us, we would certainly love to see it.

    Mary Helen


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