Date of Award

Spring 2-22-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Jeffrey Lee, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Cheryl-Marie Osborne Hansberger, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Andrew Barton, Ed.D.


Purpose: The purpose of this phenomenological study was to identify and describe the lived experiences of mid-level administrators as it relates to leadership development in Private Non-Profit Higher Education in both formal and informal settings.

Methodology: This study was a phenomenological study that identified and described the lived experiences of mid-level administrators as it relates to the leadership development for 18 mid-level administrators in both formal and informal settings in Private Non-Profit higher education.

Findings: Examination of the qualitative data from 18 mid-level administrators who work in Nonprofit Private higher education yielded 10 major findings. The findings were divided into three categories; formal learning, informal learning, and unexpected findings. The findings included important revelations about marginalized populations and their access to leadership development programs in Private Non-Profit Higher Education, as well as how leaders develop their leadership skills both formally and informally through organic mentoring relationships, communities of practice, professional development, and formalized degree programs.

Conclusions: Ten conclusions were drawn in this study, based on data. These conclusions focused on leadership development of mid-level leaders in Private Non-Profit Higher Education, specifically in the areas of leadership development in formal and informal settings.

Recommendations: Further research is recommended on the topics related to leadership development in higher education. Recommendations include the exploration of university practices with regard to the development of marginalized populations within institutions, the inclusion of leadership development time in faculty and staff workload, and the creation of policy that addresses the deficiencies in university culture that contribute to a lack of development for leaders.