Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)

Community College of Allegheny County

LDI Application and FAQ

The Leadership Development Institute is open to all CCAC employees who have been working for the college for two or more years as permanent employees. It is not open to deans, campus presidents, vice presidents or the college president. Grant funded employees are not eligible.

Download and fill out the application.
Applications are due October 11, 2013

All applications should be delivered to Bonita Richardson at CCAC–Byers Hall, Ste. 109, 808 Ridge Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15212 by the deadline of October 11, 2013.

“Community colleges, like many other sectors in American life, are experiencing a leadership gap as many current leaders retire. Moreover, the leadership skills now required have widened because of greater student diversity, advances in technology, accountability demands and globalization.”
From Thoughts About Leadership on the American Association of Community Colleges website.

Why is CCAC creating a Leadership Development Institute?
CCAC is a community of learners. Not only our students are learners, but the staff, administrators and faculty are too. This program is designed to convey to the participants some of the best practices and skills that are used by community college leaders nationwide. Many community colleges have such programs and they grow out of a belief that leadership can be learned. Our institution will be the best community college in the world if we encourage everyone to continue learning and growing in order to better serve our community and help the learners who we serve to meet their goals.

Who is eligible for participation in the CCAC Leadership Development Institute?Participation in the LDI is open to employees in leadership positions at CCAC (academic deans, campus presidents, vice presidents or the college president are ineligible). Associate Deans and Grant funded employees (if the grant permits) are also eligible.

Who is developing and overseeing the program?
The Leadership Development Institute Steering Committee chaired by Campus President Charlene Newkirk and made up of administrators, faculty members, excluded staff members and a SEIU representative are working with a consultant from the University of Texas, Austin to develop and plan all aspects of the program—including the curriculum for the program.

Who will select the participants & how will they be selected?
The selection team will be chaired by Campus President Donna Imhoff and will be made up of administrators, representatives from the AFT and the SEIU and members of the Allegheny County community. They will use objective criteria to evaluate application packages and select the participants to be recommended to CCAC President Alex Johnson for participation in the program. The broad criteria that will be used to evaluate the candidates for the program are as follows:

  • The applicant clearly articulates his/her professional goals over the next five years, and those goals align with the CCAC LDI goals.
  • The applicant provided at least three solid examples of contributions that he/she made to support the CCAC strategic directions.
  • The applicant provided proof of his/her civic engagement.
  • The applicant articulates interest in participating in the CCAC-LDI.
  • The applicant articulates ways that he/she can contribute to CCAC-LDI.
  • The applicant identifies an effective leader.
  • The applicant links qualities of leadership to a leader.
  • The applicant has demonstrated success at “leading from the middle,” i.e., demonstrated leadership from where he/she sits in the organization.
  • The professional references clearly articulate the applicant’s potential contributions to and how he/she may benefit from the LDI program.
  • The applicant would benefit from and be an asset to the CCAC-LDI program.

Who is the coordinator of the program?
The coordinator and contact for information about the program is Bonita L. Richardson, Assistant to the President. She can be reached at or 412.237.4451. All applications should be delivered to Ms. Richardson at CCAC–Byers Hall, Ste. 109, 808 Ridge Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15212 by the deadline of October 11, 2013.

Why does the CCAC LDI application state that “you must be willing to prepare for a leadership position.”
That’s because we want you to give us some examples of how you have shown leadership in the past (or currently) and explore how you can prepare for more leadership responsibility at CCAC or other institution. If you have shown that you can take responsibility for a project and are willing to learn more about being an effective leader, then this program should assist you in reaching that objective.

What is the time commitment that I will have to make if I am selected for the program?
You will be expected to attend eleven, day long (8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.), face-to-face meetings. There will be two meetings in January and one meeting per month for the months of February, March, April, May, June,  August, September, October and November with a celebration, wrap up and overall assessment. Care will be taken to schedule sessions on different days of the week.

I punch a clock when I come to work and when I leave. Am I eligible to participate?
Yes. If you are chosen, the sessions will be your regular workday. Staff members who punch a time clock have standard schedules and these schedules may not match the hours of the LDI. Regardless of what hours you may normally work, if selected, your work hours for the day will be the time of the LDI session. Any adjustments that will need to be made to the clock for you should be handled by your supervisor.

Why are the sessions scheduled for different days?
We wanted to encourage faculty to consider the opportunity and not have them miss the same class every month, since their primary responsibility is fostering learning among our students.

What will happen if I miss a session?
We are asking every participant to make a commitment to the time needed to be a part of the program. We understand that things happen. However, we ask that all candidates take this opportunity seriously—there are only a limited number of opportunities to participate, and if you are not serious, you may deny someone else the opportunity to be a part of the program. It is your responsibility to obtain the information for any session you miss by asking a colleague for notes and/or handouts. We ask that all participants attend at least 80% of the meetings of the LDI. If you must miss a session, you will be asked to prepare a written report or prepare a presentation on some aspect of leadership and share it with the group at its next meeting.

What will happen to me if I drop out?
Nothing will happen. However, you may have denied an opportunity to someone else who wanted to participate if you do.

When will I find out if I am selected or not?
All applicants will receive a letter from the CCAC president in November.

How will participation assist in the advancement of my career? 
Participation in LDI will provide you with a basis of understanding of what it means to be a leader and how to develop effective leadership skills and style. You will also be mentored by an existing member of the CCAC Leadership Team who will provide you with personalized suggestions that could guide you toward a position of greater leadership.

Will I receive a pay increase if I complete LDI?
Participation in LDI does not have any provision of a pay increase as a direct result of participation and completion. If you are hired for a higher grade institutional position someday, then financial benefits could be realized, if you pursue or possess the appropriate credentials and experience as required by the position. The LDI program is designed to be a dynamic learning experience, which will allow participants to examine the complex relationship that exists between self and CCAC. It will also assist participants in developing new personal and professional goals in relationship to the college.

If I am not selected for participation may I reapply at a future date?
Yes—in fact, you are encouraged to do so.

Can I still participate if I do not have a degree, but have been with CCAC for two or more years? 
Yes. The selection team will apply objective criteria to select candidates for the program. Your entire application package will be evaluated by the screening committee and the candidates that show the greatest potential to benefit from the experience will be recommended for the LDI.

Will this training satisfy hiring criteria that requires a degree that I do not have, but instead have years of experience?
No. The experience in the LDI program is meant to be developmental in nature for all participants. It is designed to help emerging leaders at CCAC to chart their personal leadership development. The foundation of the program is based upon the principle that leadership can be learned. This institute will be a personal and professional development experience for the participants. Every participant will be able to assess their strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for improvement regarding leadership attributes, knowledge and performance to achieve leadership influence and confidence. The goal is to assist the participants to explore their potential for leadership in various college roles and to interact with and gain insight from leaders in various fields related to the mission of CCAC. The members of the LDI will receive an increased awareness of the local, state and national contexts within which CCAC will function in the 21st century and become a part of a collaborative network of problem solvers at the institution.