Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

James Lampley

Committee Members

Andrew Czuchry, Don Good, Hal Knight


Community colleges often face challenges with leadership as a result of retirements and turnover. In reaction to these challenges some community colleges have developed Grow Your Own (GYO) leadership development programs. Although the topic of leadership and leadership development has been researched extensively, more research is necessary concerning GYO programs and their perceived impact on participants and their colleges. This study was designed to determine the perceived development of GYO participants as well as the perception of a GYO’s impact on the organization. Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC) in Greensboro, North Carolina has had a GYO program for 30 years.

A qualitative research method with a phenomenological theory design was used in this study. After obtaining permission from GTCC the 10 study participants were recruited through emails. Interviews were semi structured with questions designed to encourage discussion around the topic of leadership development. After each participant was interviewed, transcripts of the interview were made by the researcher and those transcripts were coded to determine themes. After the coding analysis was complete, common themes emerged. Each of the participants reported to have had previous roles in leadership prior to coming to GTCC. Most of the participants reported positive change because of attendance in the GYO in the areas of relationship building, networking, changed perspective of college role and mission, and better preparedness for future leadership opportunities. These findings supported earlier research that found GYO programs to be successful in creating valuable relationships across the organization. Research also supported the common theme of relationships formed both horizontally and vertically within the organization. Another common theme addressed in earlier research was the development of social capital development within the GYO program. This happens when individuals are brought together around information, given an action point, and asked to solve relevant organizational problems. This study may be useful for community colleges that already offer a GYO opportunity or are considering developing a GYO opportunity. Further research may be needed to determine the impact of the GYO leadership development training on those reporting to the participants of the program.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.