Brittany Motley, Ph.D. is a 2021 graduate of the PHD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.
Dr. Brittany Motley at her Dissertation Defense.
From L-R: Dr. Jon Wergin, Committee Chair, Dr. Richard McGuigan, Committee Member, Dr. Laurien Alexandre, Committee Member
- Jon Wergin, Ph.D., Committee Chair
- Laurien Alexandre, Ph.D., Committee Member
- Richard McGuigan, Ph.D., Committee Member
higher education, equity, leadership, change management, meaning making, immunity to change, student success
Closing equity gaps in the higher education sector is a long-standing issue. This issue has become exacerbated with the impact of COVID-19 and racial injustices happening across America. Now more than ever it has become imperative to use participatory action research to understand how leaders make meaning of their student success landscape and use that meaning to influence their strategic action for equity. I engaged two student success stakeholders from one university as co-researchers to help identify a problem in practice as it relates to equity gaps in student success. We used a modified approach to immunity to change (ITC) coaching coupled with an action inquiry framework to assist student success stakeholders with processing and reflecting on this problem to enact change. Co-researchers identified groups of stakeholders, referred to as “ITC participants,” based on their problem in practice to complete modified ITC mapping. I then used the findings from the modified ITC mapping to ask co-researchers to develop a plan of action to sustain momentum around resolving the Problem in Practice. This qualitative research project revealed three key findings: (a) understanding problems that relate to equity requires disaggregating data; (b) staff who are on the ground are key in understanding student success and creating a student-centered culture; and (c) leaders’ beliefs are translated into actions and demonstrated in structures and policies created. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive, http://aura.antioch.edu/ and OhioLINK ETD Center, https://etd.ohiolink.edu/
Motley, B. (2021). Higher Education's Immunity to Change: Understanding How Leaders Make Meaning of Their Student Success Landscape. https://aura.antioch.edu/etds/622