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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Norena Badway

First Committee Member

Dennis Brennan

Second Committee Member

Antonio Serna

Third Committee Member

James Riggs


The purpose of this study was to analyze the characteristics of, and the perceived responsibilities of chief financial officers in California single and multi-district community colleges. This study sought to answer questions about how current CFOs in California Community Colleges perceive the necessary skills and the value of job and professional development to do their job. This study focused on three research questions: 1) What do current California Community College CFOs perceive to be necessary preparation and skills and 2) How do current California Community College CFOs acquire the skills they believe necessary to be a California Community College CFO? 3) What are the demographic characteristics of California Community College CFOs? A survey with both structured closed and open-ended questions was used to identify what 110 California Community College CFOs perceive to be the necessary preparation, skills, and professional preparation is needed to be an effective community college CFO. The majority of the community college CFOs of California are white males between the age of 50 and 59 who are likely to retire within the next ten years. Women constitute 33 percent of the CFOs; 17 percent are African American; 8.5 percent Asians; and Hispanics, the fastest growing minority group in California, made up only 1.7% of the respondents. In this study, the data showed that California's current CFOs are highly educated and bring an average of 12 years of experience to their position. They tend to work in urban, ethnically diverse Hispanic serving community colleges with average student enrollments of 15 to 20 thousand unduplicated student head count. These seasoned CFOs identified skills and on the job experiences they felt were important to being a community college CFO. The identified skills and experiences provide data that can support the development of a comprehensive mentoring, training and professional development program that closely aligns with the needs of California's community college CFOs.





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