A-B Tech techtalk

A-B Tech’s third Executive Leadership Institute graduates 15 cohort members

June 3, 2014

ELI-3 Cohort graduation on May 8

On Thursday, May 8, A-B Tech graduated 15 cohort members who participated in the Executive Leadership Institute (ELI) program.  Graduates included Judy Brauer, Sherri Davis, Pamela Ellis, Bethany Emory, Beth Gentry, Jonathan Grunder, Susan Haldane, Katie Hast, Peggy Higgins, James Lee, Mark Locklear, Brenda McFarland, Phyllis Utley, Leanna Valentine and Melissa Wilson.

At the graduation, A-B Tech’s Interim President, Dennis King said, “To develop leaders, they must be nurtured through programs like ELI.  Just like a seed you cannot expect it to grow without intentional care in its development.  At A-B Tech we care about leadership development.” 

To-date, A-B Tech has hosted four cohorts.  One was called the Leadership Institute (LI) in 2008-2009, then there was ELI-1 in 2010-2011; ELI-2 2011-2012; and ELI-3 2013-2014.  The intent of the program is to develop the leadership competencies of current employees who may serve as the future leaders of the College. 

“In terms of human resources, A-B Tech must prepare for the looming leadership gap we are facing.  ELI is a ‘grow-you-own’ approach,” said Kaye Waugh, Vice President for Human Resources and Organizational Development.

The leadership gap is noted in the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) publication, AACC Competencies for Community College Leaders, “The pool of current leaders is approaching retirement. According to the Compensation and Benefits of Community College CEOs: 2012 compiled in partnership with the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT), 75% of respondents completing the survey plan to retire within the next 10 years. In addition to a loss of 75% of current CEOs, institutions are projected to lose a large number of senior administrators and faculty members.”

ELI is A-B Tech’s intentional approach to addressing this need to prepare talented employees for leadership and managerial positions to fill the leadership gap.  Cohort members explore and improve leadership skills through luncheons with A-B Tech’s Executive Leadership Team (ELT), opening session and half-day workshops, projects, and self-assessment.  Waugh explained, “Using the leadership competencies we adopted in 2011 as a guide, we help ELI participants develop their skills and knowledge in the areas that will contribute to the achievement of the College’s strategic objectives.” 

ELI graduates become more effective in their roles at A-B Tech and prepare themselves for possible career advancement.  Previous cohort members advanced from positions they held prior to ELI.  During the 2013-2014 year 27% of the ELI participants advanced.  Approximately 24% of the 2011-2012, 27% of the 2010-2011, and 15% of the 2008-2009 cohort members have since been promoted.  

ELI-3 cohort member, Katie Hast stated, “One of the biggest lessons I learned came from one of the lunch conversations we had with ELT.  Shelly White, Senior Executive Director of Economic & Workforce Development and Continuing Education, noted that when you rise in a leadership role, you must also rise above dissatisfaction.  There is no complaining as a leader.  Leadership is a mindset that is capable and eager.”

A-B Tech offers the program bi-annually.  A call for applications will be announced in 2015.  For more information contact Page McCormick, Training Design and Support Specialist, at pagecmccormick@abtech.edu or 398-7180 or Alexa Bazley, Training Design and Support Specialist, at alexambazley@abtech.edu or 398-7178.

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Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate degrees, diplomas and certificates.  Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College.

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