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Doctoral program in Community College Leadership builds skills & knowledge for higher ed professionals

November 9, 2009

CSU Continuing Education's flexible doctoral program allows students to advance their careers in education without having to sacrifice their current responsibilities and commitments.

A commitment to education

In her position as Vice President of Instruction at Arapahoe Community College, Diane Hegeman is responsible for all aspects of instruction including development and implementation of all programs, degrees, and certificates. Hegeman’s enthusiasm for the community college commitments of open access and instructional quality drive her day-to-day work as a community college leader.

“I am committed to and enthusiastically believe in the community college mission,” says Hegeman.

Hegeman expanded her skills and training in educational leadership and strengthened her commitment to community college education through her participation in Colorado State University’s unique doctoral program in Community College Leadership (CCL). Offered through CSU Continuing Education, the CCL program is designed to meet the needs and advance the careers of professionals pursuing leadership positions at community colleges and other higher education institutions.

“I became even more committed to the community college tenets as a result of my participation in the program,” says Hegeman. “The program’s outcomes instilled confidence in my ability as a community college leader.”

Balancing education and career

By completing this unique doctoral degree program, Hegeman has moved closer to achieving her professional goals without having to sacrifice her existing responsibilities and commitments. Hegeman says this flexibility, paired with CSU’s reputation as a high-quality educational institution, motivated her to pursue the CCL program.

“The program flexibility, quality of faculty, and the opportunity to grow as a community college leader attracted me to the program,” says Hegeman.

Curriculum builds practical, applicable skills

The course work for the CCL degree program develops a comprehensive and progressive knowledge base concerning community colleges, effective teaching, and student learning. Courses build skills and knowledge in such areas as the role and scope of community colleges, higher education law and policy, ethical decision making, finance, presidential cabinets and administration, research methods, and leadership development.

“Completing the program allowed me to gain experiences that contribute daily to my success as a community college leader,” say Hegeman. “I use something that I learned from my cohort colleagues, faculty, and course content every day.”

Building relationships with other professionals

Structured as a cohort program, the same group of students begins, proceeds through, and completes the CCL program together. As part of a cohort, students’ individual and professional growth is stimulated through networking and collaboration with a consistent group of professionals throughout the program. Students have various opportunities to engage in discussion and group work with professors and other students, and to build lasting relationships with others in the program.

“Relationships are key in all aspects of your life,” says Hegeman. “The relationships I developed through this program continue to be an inspiration for me.”

Faculty in the CCL program are former community college administrators and presidents. The curriculum and coursework are developed and taught by this faculty, allowing students to learn about real issues and solutions from individuals that have experienced it first-hand. By working in collaboration with peers and instructors, students engage assignments and projects designed to be applied immediately to current professional challenges and student’s personal goals.

Hegeman says her favorite aspect of the program was the collaboration between faculty and cohort colleagues “to teach, learn, and grow as individuals and as a collective group.”

Hegeman encourages others who are dedicated to community college education to explore what the CCL program has to offer.

“Consider pursuing this program if you are passionate about the role of community colleges,” says Hegeman. “You do make a difference every day in the lives of others.”

For more information about this program or to enroll in courses, call (970) 491-5288 or visit our website at

Contact: Jeanna Nixon
E-mail: (970) 491-2817