PhD in Community College Leadership

A Ph.D. in Community College Leadership prepares faculty and staff for jobs in community and technical college administration. Learn about course requirements and the average salaries for careers in the field. Schools offering College Administration & Leadership degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are the Prerequisites for a Ph.D. in Community College Leadership?

Ph.D. in Community College Leadership programs are designed for current faculty and executive staff of community and technical colleges. Before you enter a community college leadership Ph.D. program, you must be able to demonstrate your experience in an educational setting. If you do not have an adequate amount of related experience, such as teaching in a community college, you may be required to complete an internship to gain experience.

Most programs require a master's degree in education or a related field, although a few programs only require a specified amount of master's degree-level coursework. Your graduate coursework should include the following prerequisite courses:

  • Educational statistics
  • Student development
  • Workforce development
  • Leadership theory

Admission RequirementsMaster's degree with related coursework, work experience in an educational setting
CourseworkCenters on institutional leadership and research and may include topics such as administration, instruction, finance and legal issues
Online OptionsOnline and hybrid programs available; fully online programs may require some on-campus time or a summer institute
Job Outlook (2014-2024)9% growth* (for all postsecondary administrators)
Average Salary (2014) $88,350* (for junior college administrators)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Courses Will I Take?

The courses in a Ph.D. in Community College Leadership program are mainly centered around institutional leadership and research. Research courses are aimed at helping you design your dissertation research project. Specific course topics may include:

  • Issues in community college education
  • Administration and organization of a community college
  • Ethics for community college professionals
  • Instructional leadership
  • Community college budgeting and funding
  • History and future of community colleges
  • Legal issues in higher education

Can I Earn it Online?

Online and on-campus Ph.D. programs are available in community college leadership. Many programs are hybrid programs that utilize online and compressed video courses in addition to on-campus evening, weekend and summer courses. These programs are designed to allow current community college faculty and administrators to work full-time and still complete the degree program. If you choose an online program, you may be required to attend at least one on-campus course or summer institute.

What Job Could I Have?

The Ph.D. in Community College Leadership exists to train current and future higher education administrators. If you are on the faculty or staff of a community college, this degree could help you prepare for an executive leadership position, such as president, vice president, academic department head, dean of students or division director. These jobs all require experience in addition to your degree.

The demand for community college administrators, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), is increasing - the BLS reports a rate of nine percent for all postsecondary administrators - between 2014 and 2024. The increase in jobs for postsecondary administrators is attributed to a more diversified student body and to the rise in the number of people enrolling in part-time or online programs.

Salaries for administrators depend on the location and size of the school. In May, 2014 the average 2-year college administrator salary was $88,350 annually, while the annual average salary for all postsecondary administrators was $101,910, reports the BLS (www.bls.gov).

Although a Ph.D. in Community College Leadership is focused on training 2-year college administrators, this degree is transferable to other educational settings. You may choose to work in a 4-year college or become an administrator for a community-based workforce or career education program.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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  • Walden University

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