Tools in a Toolbox: Leading Change in Community Colleges

Tools in a Toolbox: Leading Change in Community Colleges

Community college leaders looking to implement meaningful change would be well advised to focus on detailed strategic plans, building relationships, using data to inform decision making, and rethinking structures, a report from the American Council on Education finds. Drawing on a review of change management literature, the report, Tools in a Toolbox: Leading Change in Community Colleges (19 pages, PDF), offers recommendations for effective leadership, including having a plan in place that articulates an overall vision, identifies specific goals, and details the projects and people responsible for them; creating a diverse leadership team that centers shared leadership and collaboration; engaging stakeholders from across the campus and the local community in analyzing, interpreting, and acting on the data collected; and ensuring that new structures and related policies and practices reinforce the organizational change envisioned. By moving intentionally and with transparency and seeking authentic engagement from a range of stakeholders, the report's author argues, leaders can make it more likely that sustainable change happens.