Educational leadership for anew model of engagement: A case study analysis of the Dallas ISD and Dallas Community College District collegiate academies partnership
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Institutions of higher education have historically engaged with the community as providers of knowledge and expertise. However, unaddressed societal needs, such as poverty and quality of life for the majority of society, have lead to the redefinition of engagement in higher education, causing a focus on collaboration between the university and the community, and the emphasis on impact rather than product (Hiram, 2015). The Dallas ISD Collegiate Academies partnership with Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD), four-year universities and industry partners is an example of the new definition of leadership and engagement. It is a partnership between various leaders of the public and private sectors to benefit the levels of education and quality of life in the city of Dallas; a new model of educational leadership and cross-sector engagement to address the community’s needs. This study explores the successes and challenges of establishing strategic educational partnerships and the institutional and leadership traits that facilitate and sustain these partnerships. The findings of this study have been used to develop a blueprint for establishing and sustaining strategic educational partnerships that increase high school and college graduation rates, and ultimately enhance the quality of education and life within the community. The findings have also been used to develop recommendations to enhance the Dallas ISD-DCCCD Collegiate Academies partnership, which may be used to guide other partnerships. The anticipated contribution of this study is to identify institutional characteristics and leadership traits that positively impact the establishment of strategic educational partnerships that engage K-12, higher education and industry partners to successfully address the need for college graduates in the ever-evolving workforce.