Women of Color in Community Colleges: Leadership Development


  • Rebecca Gutierrez Keeton California State University, Fullerton http://orcid.org/0000-0003-2275-9934
  • Ding-Jo Currie California State University, Fullerton
  • Netasha K. Pizano California State University, Fullerton




This quantitative study assessed the impact of the Kaleidoscope Leadership Institute (KLI) model of professional development on KLI on 140 participants’ personal and professional lives. The model was designed for community college women of color and led by female presidents/chancellors. Participants report gains in career and educational advancements, new networks, and mentorships across races/ethnicities and higher education positions. Researchers conclude that cross-cultural networking, mentoring, and identity development are beneficial and recommend that professional associations and institutions expand the KLI model to increase institutional leadership diversity.

Keywords: Community college, leadership development, women of color, identity-based leadership development, female college presidents, female leaders, mentoring, networking, identity development, institutional racism

Author Biographies

Rebecca Gutierrez Keeton, California State University, Fullerton

Dr. Gutierrez Keeton is an associate professor in educational leadership at California State University, Fullerton, and a former vice president for student affairs at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Her qualitative research interests include identity development, building social justice coalitions, and underrepresented students and student affairs professionals in higher education.  She earned her Ph.D. from the Claremont Graduate University.

Ding-Jo Currie, California State University, Fullerton

Dr. Currie is a distinguished faculty member in educational leadership at California State University, Fullerton, and a former Chancellor for the Coast Community College District.  She also served as President of Coastline Community College prior to her Chancellor role. Currently, Ding-Jo devotes herself to full-time leadership development work.  She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Southern California.

Netasha K. Pizano, California State University, Fullerton

Netasha K. Pizano, M.A. is a lecturer at California State University, Fullerton and Chapman University, teaching introductory research methods and statistics courses. She earned her M.A. in psychology from California State University, Fullerton. She specializes in employing structural equation models to investigate the proximal and distal factors that impact family relationships and child development.

Advancing Women In Leadership Journal