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Leadership in Higher Education

Having strong leadership skills is a very important aspect in any organization. A team is only as strong as its leader. The type of leadership in a particular environment can either strengthen the work environment or weaken it. Leaders also have the ability to encourage individuals to pursue desired career opportunities or switch career paths. My interest for Student Affairs did not begin until my second year of my master’s program. I started a second assistantship in the Office of Precollegiate Programs for Talented and Gifted (OPPTAG). I had a strong leadership model. My supervisor was very caring and supportive. In addition, her leadership style was very directive delete “in” and she was very clear in explaining her expectations of me. She hired me as an administrative assistant and trusted me with various programs in the department. Among those programs was The Early Outreach Program (EOP). The EOP was a component of the Upward Bound Program. I was responsible for planning and implementing the program from beginning to end. I thoroughly enjoyed working with the junior and high school students and designing a curriculum for them that was filled with activities and classes that aided them in their academic and social development. I corresponded with students, students’ parents, faculty and staff, as well as community members. This is where I had the opportunity to really become familiar with the nature of Higher Education. In this position, I also assisted with the planning and organizing of on-campus visit programs for groups of prospective students with the goal of promoting higher education. My supervisor showed me the logistics of her position. At the conclusion of my position, I knew my exact role in a 4-year public institution.


I recently wrote a paper on leadership of a professional in Higher Education. I interviewed an Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at a prominent 4-year university in Arkansas. I learned a great deal in the responsibilities and work load of someone who holds such a position, as well as some rewards and challenges. This project aligns perfectly with the Leadership Competency because it defines leadership, illustrates various types of leaders, and goes in depth of a particular leader.


Cross’s Black Identity model consist of 5 stages: Pre-encounter, encounter, immersion-emersion, internalization, and internalization-commitment.