A voice : lived experiences of selected African American community college trustees Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/np193c79b

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  • The focus of this study is a search for the voice of African American community college trustees as they work to impact the changes community colleges must make over the next quarter century. It examined the lived experiences and perceptions that selected African American community college trustees have of their roles as trustees and the impact they think they are having on the setting of priorities in the governance of their respective colleges. This topic is significant since, arguably, community colleges are the quintessential democratic institutions in society; their doors are open to everyone. In various ways, community colleges are dynamically responding to the demographic changes that are occurring in American society. Among those changes are an increasing number of African American students entering college, especially community colleges, and an increasing number of African Americans becoming community college trustees. This study found that the elected African American community college trustees who participated in this study are fully integrated into the governance processes of their colleges, but do not think of themselves a being assimilated into the culture of their boards. They believe that they bring a double consciousness to their roles as trustees and that it allows them to perceive governance issues from the perspectives of insiders who are comfortable with the status quo and from the perspective of outsiders who have been traditionally removed from the locus of institutional power. Participants see themselves as representatives of the interests of their colleges as well as representatives of the interests of groups and individuals who have little or no voice in the affairs of their colleges. Participants are long-time community leaders whose influence extends beyond their colleges into their communities; they see themselves as servant leaders dedicated to working for change in society.
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