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|College Leadership Approach and Impact on Online and Blended Learning
|Dr. Mohamed Ally
|Dr. Susan Bainbridge
Dr. Alan Davis
Dr. Herman van der Merwe
|Doctor of Education (EdD) in Distance Education
|Centre for Distance Education
online and blended learning
|As the economy continues to transition from the Industrial Age to the Digital Age, employers have a greater need for more people with trained skills and higher levels of education. A college education in today’s society is becoming vital as this need for knowledge and skills in the workforce increases, and this trend towards higher educational requirements poses a significant challenge for many prospective students who cannot commit to attending a college campus on a full-time basis due to work and family demands. As well, the resulting increase in student demand requires that colleges and their executives, who have traditionally operated within restrictive administrative
parameters and a dependency on local governments, must now approach student access in new and novel ways. Consequently, the role and influence of the college president is especially critical in order to deal with the resulting complex, long-term challenges of
leading the evolution of our post-secondary institutes. If these institutes are to change to accommodate these changing external pressures, this change must come from within the colleges, and be embraced by both faculty and administration alike. College presidents
must provide the leadership and vision to guide and facilitate these changes.
It is a significant shift for traditional post-secondary institutes to consider a greater focus on online and blended programming when their structures and models were developed according to more traditional educational models (e.g. in-class, F2F programming); however, Canadian colleges must adapt to meet these changing and evolving needs of a growing population of employers as well as prospective students. Despite the cited advantages for student access to online and blended learning, there are still barriers an institute and its leaders must overcome to be successful, with faculty acceptance consistently cited as one of the leading challenges. Therefore, effective
leadership could play a crucial role in the success of post-secondary institutes
endeavoring to increasingly include online and blended learning in their institute’s longterm strategic plan. The purpose of this study was to explore specific leadership characteristics that enable Canadian College Presidents to influence the growth of online and blended learning.
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