Date of Award

Summer 8-13-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Julie Hadden


Purpose. The purpose of this study was to examine the collaboration between ESL and English composition instructors at the community college level using the Kolb and Gray (2005) collaboration leadership model in the areas of common mission, collective responsibility, necessary resources, respective and supportive climate, awareness of group process, creativity, and capacity to deal with conflict. A secondary purpose was to explore barriers to collaboration and describe what strategies and practices could improve collaboration.

Methodology. An explanatory sequential mixed method study was chosen because it offered a multifaceted and in-depth view of current practice, which allowed for a more thorough analysis. In the first phase, quantitative data was collected via a survey distributed to all ESL and English composition instructors at three Washington State community colleges. In the second phase, qualitative data was collected via six interviews, three with ESL instructors and three with English composition instructors. Following the two phases, conclusions were drawn regarding how the qualitative results explained the quantitative results.

Findings. Minimal collaboration between ESL and English composition instructors was discovered, yet instructors said they would participate if professional development opportunities were made available. Eleven of 19 barriers from Kolb and Gray (2005) were identified. Common mission and necessary resources were the top strategies identified from the collaborative leadership model.

Conclusions. The data gathered established a need for and an interest in collaboration between ESL and English composition faculty. The collaborative leadership model (Kolb & Gray, 2005) provides strategies to address the barriers that both survey and interview participants identified in this study.

Recommendations. Community colleges should use these findings to develop collaborative training programs for ESL and English composition faculty engaged in teaching ESL students. Educators, working in collaboration with one another, should use these findings to improve the methods used to meet the learning needs of ESL students and to develop ways to streamline the transition from ESL to English 101.