Date of Conferral







Laura Weidner


To mitigate the loss of experienced administrators, community college leaders create internal grow-your-own (GYO) leadership development programs. Although the purpose of these programs is to ensure institutional efficacy by developing a pipeline of administrative and faculty leaders, little attention has been given to learning about the participants' post-program career advancement over time. Consequently, the value of GYO leadership training for participants is not well known. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore the post-program professional development of a group of participants 2 years after completing a rural community college GYO leadership program. The conceptual framework was guided by both the American Association of Community Colleges' Leadership competency model and situated learning theory. Research questions examined the leadership knowledge, skills, and behaviors the participants acquired from their training and how these knowledge, skills, and abilities were being used. Data sources included interviews of a cohort of 10 GYO leadership participants, leadership institute artifacts, and human resources documents, which were used for triangulation of the data. A constant comparative analysis methodology was used to identify themes. Research findings indicated that the participants most often applied their communication, collaboration, and advocacy knowledge and skills in their respective jobs, interests, and professional development over time. Academic and other leaders can use the research results to create positive social change by offering GYO leadership training programs to promote the advancement of the institution's mission, thereby improving the lives of the students and the health of the community.