The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

Higher Education Administration: Ed.D.


Educational Administration and Higher Education


School of Education

First Advisor

Steven McCullar

Second Advisor

Michael Mills

Third Advisor

Sandra Berkowitz

Fourth Advisor

Erin Heath

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

Schlossberg, Transition, Community College Deans


Succession planning and the pending vacancies in leadership are both important topics in higher education in general and community colleges specifically. Faculty have historically played an important role in filling the leadership pipeline in community colleges, with the first step in this transition being from faculty to academic deans. However, there is little research focused on the role of the academic dean, let alone that transition from faculty to administration, in the community college setting. The purpose of this qualitative study was to understand the perceptions of faculty who have transitioned into academic dean roles on two-year college campuses. Through the interviews with the seven participants, we began to understand how one perceives the transition from faculty to administrator in the community college setting. Schlossberg’s transition theory (1981) was the theoretical framework that was used and modified to create the four major factors labeled the Four S's, in an attempt to understand an individual’s capacity to transition (Goodman, 2006; Schlossberg, 2008; Schlossberg, Lynch, & Chickering, 1989). This study found there is a wide range of motivations that prompt faculty to move into administration. Two themes emerged around the perceptions of the transition. The first was the fast-paced nature of the change, and the second was the changing relationship with faculty members. The participants were able to use their assets of situation, self, and strategies to overcome the liabilities of support to move into their new role. Implications for practice include: building a support system for new deans, developing practical training for deans, creating a greater sense of community among deans, and encouraging self-care.



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