Leadership in the Initiation and Development of Programs for Students with Learning Disabilities in Christian Colleges: Case Studies of Three Institutions
AuthorBergman, Donna Marie
Committee ChairBosworth, Kris
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis study endeavored to answer the question, what leadership model for change is effective in establishing exemplary programs for students with learning disabilities in private Christian colleges. The focus was on leaders in three private Christian universities who developed programs that positively affected students' success.This multiple case study of leaders produced evidence that Fullan's change model (2001), which is often utilized by leaders in K-12 education, could be applied to program development in higher education when collaboration is a strategic componet in all elements of the model. Interviews about the history and current status of each institution's program explored how leaders in the three institutions effectively implemented programs to assist students with learning disabilities. The interviewees indicated they endeavored to build collaborative relationships to create and share knowledge. Leaders developed collaborative groups to assist in coherence making. The overriding emphasis of the leaders in this study was on collaboration, which permeated all elements of the leadership model for change. Not surprisingly, given the context of the study, the data revealed that the guiding motivation for this service was faith in Christ. While data analysis revealed each leader used most elements of Fullan's (2001) model, there is little evidence of one element of the model, understanding the nature and effects of change. Findings included the importance of moral purpose, relationship building, knowledge creation and sharing, understanding change, and coherence making in program development. The researcher found three additional elements that seemed to enhance the success of disability services; (1) the leaders' propensity to innovate, (2) the faculty's attitude toward disability services, and (3) the administration's value of disability services. All of these elements functioned through a strong emphasis on collaboration. Due to the unique nature, culture, and structure of higher education, this study suggests that an emphasis on collaboration by the leaders is essential to all the elements of the model for developing programs for students with disabilities at Christian colleges and universities.
Degree ProgramEducational Leadership