This mixed-methods research study examined the effects on the career preparation, advancement, and enhancement of women from California community college leadership who participated in the Asilomar Leadership Skills Seminar (Asilomar) from 2005-2011. Data were collected during the 2011-2012 academic year and were gathered from the results of 67 respondents to an online 27-item survey and from 10 volunteer interviews. Eleven important findings resulted from analysis of study data. In the area of career preparation, Asilomar prompted participants to set personal and professional goals, encouraged and inspired them to prepare to take on leadership roles with increasing responsibility, and positively influenced participants' emotional intelligence. In the area of career advancement, Asilomar provided executive leadership examples and experiences, afforded participants the opportunity to network with colleagues and executive leaders from other colleges, and increased participants' confidence. In the area of career enhancement, Asilomar provided professional development and personal leadership capacity building and encouraged participants to seek work life balance. The aspects of Asilomar that were perceived as contributing the most to participant success were the executive leadership examples provided by the seminar leaders and the opportunity afforded to network with colleagues and executive leaders from other community colleges. The top five Asilomar topics that emerged from the data were budget and finance, leadership ethics, emotional intelligence, campus politics, and governance. Findings from the study support the following conclusions. Asilomar had a significantly positive impact on the career preparation, advancement, and enhancement of California community college women leaders who participated in the seminar from 2005-2011. Aspiring community college women executive leaders need and benefit from the opportunity to interact and learn from women executive leader role models and mentors in order to prepare for, advance, and enhance their professional careers. Women encouraging, supporting, and promoting other women in their career preparation, advancement, and enhancement is highly inspiring and motivating to aspiring community college leaders. Such interaction promotes professional ties, continued association with Asilomar, and results in new referrals for Asilomar participation.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Educational leadership administration and policy; Leadership in women; Career development; Community colleges -- California -- Administration

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Purrington, Linda;