Revised competencies include path for emerging leaders

The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) has expanded its popular competencies for college leaders to include all leaders at all stages, from faculty right up to seasoned CEOs.

The newly released third edition of “AACC Competencies for Community Colleges” is geared for faculty, mid-level leaders and senior-level leaders, as well as aspiring, new and seasoned CEOs, to help them assess their performance in their current jobs, to determine if there are areas where they can improve and to gauge if they are ready to move up to the next position.

The third edition of the “AACC Competencies for Community College Leaders” will help leaders at all levels.

The expansion was, in part, driven by a need to ensure a robust pipeline of future college leaders as many baby boomers, particularly presidents and chancellors, retire, says AACC President and CEO Walter Bumphus. It’s also intended to embed the mission of student success into all levels of leadership.

“We may not be able to prepare for every scenario that can occur, but these competencies provide leaders at every level with the tools needed to react appropriately and in the best interests of the institution and, most importantly, the students,” he tells AACC’s Community College Journal in the upcoming December/January issue.

Looking ahead: Angel Royal, AACC’s chief of staff, will detail the competencies in an upcoming episode of the Community College Voice, the association’s podcast. Stay tuned!

The revised guide recognizes differences among jobs within the community college. For example, it notes, all jobs deal with internal and external politics, management of fiscal and human resources, communications, and adherence to policies and procedures.

“But the extent of responsibilities in each of these areas is different for a CEO versus a vice president, and the scrutiny that one can fall under for failure to excel or achieve positive results in these areas is quite different,” according to the guide’s preamble. “Depending on the severity of a deficiency, a CEO might be terminated, whereas a vice president may receive additional time to improve his/her performance.”

AACC notes that the guide should be “aspirational,” recognizing that experience leads to mastering competencies.

“The competencies are designed to serve as an assessment that individuals can use to determine their gaps in experience,” the guide says. “Identifying these gaps early provides a chance to seek opportunities to further develop through campus grow-your-own leadership programs and engagement in the college’s committee structure and state-level and national professional development opportunities.”

The AACC Commission on Leadership and Professional Development was tasked with making recommendations for this revision. Input also was given by members of the AACC board of directors, 2018 Presidents Academy Summer Institute attendees, and directors of doctoral graduate programs in community college leadership, affiliated councils and members of the AACC Faculty Advisory Council.

AACC Leadership Suite: Looking for professional development to fine tune your skills? Check out the programming AACC offers.

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