PCC LEAD Academy

Portland Community College LEAD Academy

In direct response to a significant number of pending employee retirements now and in the future, The PCC President, in collaboration with, The PCC Professional and Organizational Development Manager, partnered with IGS to bring an executive level leadership development program to the PCC System.


“I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.”

Mahatma Gandhi

The purpose of the program is to build PCC’s internal leadership capacity by creating an internal “pipeline” of leadership talent to fill a potential leadership vacuum resulting from the anticipated large number of retirements – The L.E.A.D. Academy was launched to fulfill this need. The program material represents the most current thinking in leadership development and is delivered in a way that supports the diverse learning styles of the audience. With learner accountability as one of its founding principles, L.E.A.D. is structured to provide extensive learning beyond the class room and culminates with a “capstone” project that contributes to the betterment of the greater PCC community.

This 9-month, limited entry program includes 17 modules of custom designed material tailored to the specific needs of today’s PCC leaders. The PCC System’s commitment to executive leadership development makes it unique among Oregon’s community colleges. A sample of the L.E.A.D Academy program content follows.

Key Program Content

  • Key Leadership Skills: Coaching and Collaboration
  • Interpersonal Communications
  • Conflict Management
  • Diversity in the Workplace
  • Professional Excellence and Accountability
  • Managing Organizational Change
  • Leadership and Decision Making/Problem Solving
  • Team Building and Systems Thinking
  • Performance Management

Curriculum design responds to diverse learning styles and includes:

  • Pre-work, including relevant reading of books, websites and professional periodicals
  • Customized workbook for concept exploration
  • Kinesthetic “hands-on” activities designed to reinforce theories and concepts
  • Real-life scenarios/case studies/Role plays for problem-solving and skill application
  • Personality and work style assessments, including instruments such as MBTI, Firo-B, TKI, and EQ.
  • Video instruction
  • Application/reinforcement of content supported by assigned fieldwork between sessions.
  • Course concludes with a Capstone project demonstrating the participant’s integration of learning back on the job.

Program Results

Since its inception, the L.E.A.D Academy has successfully graduated over a dozen cohorts and the capstone projects produced by graduated cohorts have added considerable value to the PCC system. The following testimonial demonstrates the importance and success of the LEAD Academy:


“I find it extremely valuable to have a network of colleagues that I can go to for feedback and coaching. It is also very helpful to have a leadership framework that I know is supported by the administration at the College. It feels like we are building a common philosophy for how we manage and lead.”