Paper Type

Doctoral Dissertation


College of Education and Human Services

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)



NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Leadership, School Counseling & Sports Management

First Advisor

Dr. Jeffrey Cornett

Second Advisor

Dr. Sophie Maxis

Third Advisor

Dr. Lucy Croft

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Kane

Department Chair

Dr. Elizabeth Gregg

College Dean

Dr. Diane Yendol-Hoppey


This purpose of the study was to explore the personal perspectives of three select state college administrators regarding their purpose, values, and beliefs they inherently espouse about leadership, developmental education and academic success. The researcher examined the ways in which community college administrators used communication strategies to lead change processes within their organizations. The researcher identified the administrators’ leadership approaches in leading a major redesign of a developmental education program at a large community college in Florida. The following primary research question was explored: What are the strategies adopted by the select state college administrators leading a major developmental education redesign initiative within a community college? Utilizing a qualitative approach, the methodology encompassed comparative case study including interviews, observations, and selected document analysis. The conceptual framework utilized Walumbwa, Avolio, Gardner, Wernsing, and Peterson’s (2008) authentic leadership model, adaptive communication from Heifetz, Linsky, and Grashow’s (2009) adaptive change model, agile leadership approaches based on elements of Eddy’s (2010a) multidimensional leadership model, and leadership competencies identified by the American Association of Colleges and Universities (2005). Results of the study included four primary considerations: (a) the influence of a leader’s past experiences contextualized the approach to leading change in developmental education redesign; (b) the leader’s intrinsic values and beliefs formed the foundation to conceptualize change in developmental education redesign; (c) the leader’s sensemaking and communication necessitated the understanding of complex change; (d) leadership qualities and approaches facilitated acceptance, adaptation, and management of leading change in developmental education redesign. Recommendations included processes for new employee orientation, educational advocacy, professional development, strategic planning, mentorship, and collective bargaining.