Author(s)

Katherine Boland

Date Approved

8-22-2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ed.D. Educational Leadership

Department

Educational Leadership

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Sisco, Burton

Subject(s)

Professional learning communities;Universities and colleges--New Jersey

Disciplines

Higher Education Administration

Abstract

As powerful forces of change continue to exert pressure on institutions of higher education, scholars are calling for strategies to sustain our most valuable asset, the academic community. One promising response is Milton Cox's work. He created the Miami University model for faculty and professional learning communities, a nationally-recognized strategy for supporting faculty development, addressing institutional needs, and promoting meaningful change. This mixed methods action research project introduced a new version of Cox's technology, a project-based learning community. This project-based version was the basis of my work with the Professional Staff and Librarian Learning Community (PSLLC). The PSLLC engaged in a collaborative, discussion-based, four-year process to design, implement, and institutionalize a new orientation program. This project also provided a context for developing my leadership practice. The data indicate that the project-based learning community was a viable strategy for promoting professional development, community building, and organizational change.

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